Junta heavily relies on militia members in battles

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Yangon, 30 September

Myanmar army has used militia groups extensively on the frontlines and in townships while deploying troops across the country, military observers told Than Lwin Times.

The junta army, which is losing strength and morale in ground combat, has to rely on local militias and militia groups formed in villages for its military requirements.

Local militia organizations from ethnic areas have been incorporated into the regime forces in frontline combat, as well as in towns, outside of camps, and in departmental offices.

The official of the Northern Shan State Alliance Army (NSSAA) said, “The militia groups will not be useful because they have no combat experience, but the enemy should not be underestimated.”

On the other hand, junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing personally met with the leaders of the militia and mobilized them. On September 10, he met with the leaders of six local militia groups in Shan State, urging the country’s reserve troops, or militias, to help bring the conflict to an end.

According to the revolutionary forces, the military council is currently using various militia organizations, notably the Longthang militia and the Namkham militia, in fighting with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Shan State.

In addition, militants from the Pa-O National Organization (PNO) have supported the military council in the clashes in Kayah State (Kareni), and PNO officials refused to respond to the Than Lwin Times’ inquiry regarding the report.

Khun Myint Tun, chairman of the Pa-O National Federal Council (PNFC), told Than Lwin Times, “If local militias cooperate with the coup military council, they will be considered enemies of the people.”

The Pa-O youth organizations consider that Pa-O militia leaders would follow the expectations of the military council because they have interests related to the military council.

On the other hand, the military council is preparing to form more militia groups in neighborhoods and villages across the country, as well as arming the existing ones and using them to provide security.

A resident of Yangon said that militia groups called “Hawks” have been formed in South Dagon, East Dagon, and Dagon Seikan Townships in Yangon Region this month and are using them for security patrols.

Revolutionary forces in Sagaing Region claimed that the military council in central Myanmar is continuously providing training for members of the Pyu Saw Htee and is using them as militias.

According to an independent report, the country has over 5,000 militia groups, and the junta has attempted to organize paramilitary groups in over 10,000 villages since 2008.

After Myanmar’s independence, militia groups were formed by successive junta regimes to serve as village defense forces, guides, or informants to control local insurgents.

According to political observers, the widespread use of militias as reserve forces may be a sign of the military’s waning strength.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo-MOI

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