Dwindling junta making attempt to use local militias

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Lashio, 12 September

The junta chief of the military council, which is declining both in terms of military strength and morale, is mobilizing local militias to cooperate in the country’s stability and peace process.

On September 10, General Min Aung Hlaing met with the leaders of six local militia groups at the Northeastern Command in northern Shan State.

At that meeting, the military leader praised the local militias as a force supporting the security measures taken for the State and they are serving their duties conscientiously with patriotic spirit to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The junta chief urged local militia troops to work together with the authorities, the Tatmadaw, and the public for stability, the rule of law, and the development of socio-economic life in their region.

Dr. Hla Kyaw Zaw, a China-based Myanmar affairs analyst, said, “The fact that the military leader went to the reserve militia groups for help is probably because the army may be in a terrible state. It appears that recruiting new soldiers is difficult.”

The military leader urged the local militias to work together to end the armed conflict in their respective areas so that they could carry out the collection of voter lists in order to hold a free and fair election.

U Than Soe Naing, a political analyst, said, “Militias are informants, so I believe that the military is trying to mobilize ethnic groups to meet its recruitment needs”.

The militias are those who split from the ethnic armed organizations that emerged after the country’s independence and made peace with the military regime, and there are thousands of militia troops under the supervision of the junta army.

According to an independent report, there are more than 5,000 militia groups in the country, and since 2008, the junta has made efforts to form militia groups in more than ten thousand villages.

After independence, militia groups were formed by successive junta regimes to act as village defense forces, guides, and informants to control local armed insurgencies.

Currently, the military council is battling practically everywhere in the country with the People’s Defense Forces, as well as some ethnic armed organizations, in a fight to overthrow the military dictatorship that arose as a result of the coup.

On the other hand, local militia forces in the ethnic-controlled areas of Kachin State and Shan State are among those assisting the military council.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: MOI

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