Caught between two sides

Forty years into its conflict with the Burmese government, the opposition Karen National Union (KNU) found themselves a new enemy; a militia of former comrades who defected in 1995 and created the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). The two have since become sworn enemies, with DKBA troops joining the Burmese army in its quest to eliminate armed ethnic groups.

But all is not united within the DKBA, and in recent months a number of troops have returned to their old unit, taking up arms once more as they eye the final goal of one of the world’s longest-running civil wars: an independent Karen state, free of the ethnic cleansing campaigns of the ruling junta.

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