KNU says junta’s grudge, stepped-up military efforts fuel conflict

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Mawlamyine, November (16)

The Karen National Union (KNU) spokesperson, Padoh Saw Taw Nee, claimed that the conflict has gotten worse because the coup regime hates the KNU since it opposes the military dictatorship and collaborates with revolutionary forces.

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the Karen National Defence Force (KNDO), and the junta army and its Border Guard Force (BGF) engaged in a total of 3,152 skirmishes in 2021, and 3,845 from January to October 2022.

According to KNU’s statement, the number of deaths and injuries of military personnel in the fighting that took place in the 10 months of this year (2022) has increased more than the number of fighting that took place in 2021.

KNU spokesperson Padoh Saw Taw Nee said that the military council was angry because of the KNU’s clear policy of not accepting the military coup and its collusion with the revolutionary forces against the coup.

He stated that the KNU did everything possible to keep the fighting from spreading further, but due to the actions of the military council, the KNU could no longer tolerate it, and the majority of the fighting has taken place on the side of the 5th and 6th Brigades.

Since the rainy season, the Military Council’s three Divisions and other paramilitary units, and the Border Guard Forces have been on the offensive and have not yet withdrawn their troops from the KNU area, but their operations have caused more casualties, Padoh Saw Taw Nee said.

In addition, the number of regime troops who surrendered to the KNU and joined the CDM has increased recently, and that of prisoners of war captured during the fighting has also increased to an unprecedented number, Padoh Saw Taw Nee said, adding that when they occupied the military camps, they found that it only took minutes or hours, and the number of prisoners of war apparently increased from 16 to 20 people.

Because of the army’s deteriorating morale and poor combat abilities, more military council troops are giving up in battle than before. In the case of a battle, soldiers count on air support; if air support is delayed, they quickly surrender.

According to KNU’s statement, after the military coup, the military council has carried out at least 107 airstrikes with fighter jets against KNU-affiliated troops.

News-Than Lwin Times

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