(MYANMAR, January 19, 2022)— On January 19, the Karen National Union (KNU)—an ethnic political organization with armed wings operating against the Myanmar military—removed two ethnic armed group leaders from their positions. The removal of General Ner Dah Bo Mya and Lieutenant Saw Ba Wah from their posts within the Karen National Defence Organization (KNDO) followed Fortify Rights’s investigation exposing the involvement of the two officers in the massacre of 25 unarmed men in Karen State. As part of the investigation, General Ner Dah Bo Mya and Lieutenant Saw Ba Wah, confessed to Fortify Rights that soldiers under their command and control detained and subsequently murdered 25 unarmed men on June 1, 2021.
After discussing the investigation findings with senior leadership of the KNU, the KNU told Fortify Rights that they were conducting its own investigation into the extrajudicial killings committed by the KNDO and would cooperate directly with international investigators and share evidence related to the massacre and other atrocity crimes. This is the first time that the KNU has made such a commitment.