The prospect of junta army with shrinking strength and declining morale

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Kawkayeik, February (21)

After more than two years of the military coup, the military council’s strength has shrunk nationwide, suffering heavy losses in the battle, and their morale has deteriorated, said a CDM Captain and political analysts.

ISP-Myanmar, a research organization, reports that at least 577 resistance groups have emerged since the military takeover on February 1, 2021.

In the 44 townships of the regions and states where martial law has been declared, there are several army units under eight Divisions, and at least 107 regiments, battalions and columns of the revolutionary forces are active, the ISP-Myanmar said.

“On the other hand, in Sagaing and Magway regions, which are the main sources of military strength, the revolutionary PDFs have sprung up all over the country, so the military regime has no hope of recruiting new troops,” said U Ye Tun, a political analyst.

In Sagaing and Magway regions of upper Myanmar, there have been strikes and mob protests against the military dictatorship since the military coup until today, and the local defense forces are still waging the battle against the junta army.

Mann Win Khaing Than, Prime Minister of the National Unity Government (NUG), stated in his New Year’s speech on January 1 that the CDM, a nonviolent Civil Disobedience Movement against the military dictatorship, has attracted over 4,000 soldiers and 9,000 policemen.

Comrade Salai Yawn Aung, a member of the All Burma Students Democratic Front’s (ABSDF) Central Steering Committee, remarked that at the start of 2023, the revolutionary forces began to shift to an offensive strategy while the military council was in a defensive position.

The Karen National Union (KNU) reported on February 9 that more than 6,800 soldiers were killed and about 5,500 were injured in the fighting between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)/Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) and the military council in the Kawthoolei area in the two years since the military coup.

According to a classified document leaked online a few days ago, operational activity list of the frontline troops under the command of the Southeast Regional Military Command shows a decrease in strength, the CDMers and political analysts said.

As a result, the junta army was unable to replenish its strength and had to rely on soldiers from other Divisions in the region, and soldiers nationwide are also demoralized, according to CDM Captain Lin Htet Aung.

He added, before the military takeover, the front-line military strength was over 100, and according to the current list on paper, it is only around 60 or 70, so it has decreased by one-third, which is a bad situation for army units nationwide.

Veteran politician U Pe Than said that if the junta army weakens, the soldiers may desert the army or surrender, and the army as a whole will disintegrate.

There are 14 Regional Military Commands (RMC) in the Army, which are mainly responsible for defense, security, and operations in their respective regions. Under the RMC, there are 10 Light Infantry Divisions (LID) and 17 Military Operations Commands (MOC).

The military council said that its strength is more than 400,000, but even female soldiers and family members have to provide security in the army compound, and if military personnel travel, they will not be allowed to go without security.

News-Than Lwin Times

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