Interview with Padoh Saw Taw Nee, spokesperson of Karen National Union

Armed clashes between the military and resistance forces have been intensifying in Mae Ka Nal area of Myawaddy Township in the No.6 Brigade area of Karen National Union since the first week of April. The military carried out aerial attacks and heavy weapon shells continuously.

This interview with Padoh Saw Taw Nee is about the military’s escalated offensive attack of the military, IDPs, defection of junta soldiers to KNU.

TLT: The military is conducting aerial and ground attacks in Kyauktaung in Mae Kanae village of KNU’s No. 6 Brigade in southern part of Myawady Township. Could you talk about it and the updated situation?

Padoh Saw Taw Nee: The military is conducting serious offensive attacks in Mae Kanae village of No.6 Brigade area, using both aerial and ground forces. It is clear that they have lost their control in this area. So, they are trying to get back this area with offensive attacks.
TLT: The military’s offensives have forced the locals to flee from this area. The military destroyed property of civilians, and the number of IDPs has increased.

What is your remark on this situation, and how KNU is helping these IDPs?

Padoh Saw Taw Nee: The offensive of miliary troops actually targeted civilians. They used jet fighters in bombing and fired heavy weapon shells on the villages where civilians were taking shelter without any ongoing battle, causing the number of IDPs to increase. The military is committing war crime and crime against humanity as they have no solution to overcome the present crisis. We are providing humanitarian assistance to IDPs together with civil society organizations. The number of IDPs has reached over 50,000 in our area after the military coup.’

TLT: Some junta soldiers defected to KNU in Papun district some days ago. Could you mention an estimated number of defected soldiers to KNU? What are their situations and living?

Padoh Saw Taw Nee: Soldiers have defected to KNU very frequently. They cannot resist difficulties. The ground forces have lost their confidence in battles as their causality is high. Although they launched offensives, they fled from the clashes, even without taking their weapons. The military’s ground force has lost their confidence. So, the military’s air force is bombing over the villages. It reflects their situation is worsening. I have no records on the list of defected soldiers. It is recorded in different areas.

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