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Karen National Union Repels Myanmar Military Push to Take Back Myawaddy

The border town of Myawaddy, adjacent to Thailand, was wrested from military control by a coalition of anti-junta forces led by the KNU on Thursday.

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Karen National Union Repels Myanmar Military
Soldiers from the Karen National Union greet a local mother and her child in Myawaddy, Myanmar - Photo Reuters

The Karen National Union (KNU) has claimed that it will establish its own administrative mechanism in recently acquired Myanmar military base near Myawaddy, a vital trading corridor on Myanmar’s Thai border.

Padoh Saw Taw Nee, a spokesperson for the Karen National Union, claimed on Sunday that its forces had thwarted junta troops’ effort to march on the important town of Myawaddy along the Thai border, which the rebels had taken last week.

Junta reinforcements attempted to march on Myawaddy for days but were beaten back in a skirmish approximately 40 kilometers distant, according to Karen National Union (KNU) spokeswoman Saw Taw Nee.

“It is not easy to get here. “They face a lot of difficulty,” he told Reuters, adding that the KNU’s fighters had been “blocking and intercepting” junta troops.

On Thursday, a coalition of anti-junta rebels led by the KNU seized control of Myawaddy, a border town near Mae Sot in Thailand.

Padoh Saw Taw Nee, a spokesperson for the KNU

Padoh Saw Taw Nee, a spokesperson for the Karen National Union (KNU): Photo KNU

According to Saw Taw Nee, fighting broke out on Friday between the villages of Kawkareik and Kaw Nwet along the important Asian Highway 1 that leads west from the Thai border.

According to the KNU spokeswoman, the junta’s death and injury toll from the fighting is over 100, based on intelligence from the front lines. “We know that they suffered a loss of one armed carrier and a military truck,” he went on to say.

Myanmar has been in crisis since 2021, when the powerful military toppled an elected civilian government, sparking huge protests that it attempted to quell with force.

Simmering rage against the junta has evolved into a countrywide armed resistance movement that is increasingly working in tandem with existing ethnic rebel organizations to fight the military in major sections of Myanmar.

According to Saw Taw Nee, the resistance “will take time”. “We need to have a kind of coordination with other groups… to defeat the military,” he went on to say.

According to the KNU spokeswoman, operating in a wide anti-junta alliance presents additional challenges. “We are still in the process of how to negotiate, how to come together, and how to move forward among our Karen groups,” he said, referring to members of the ethnic community that largely live in Kayin State.

Saw Taw Nee stated that the KNU’s urgent priority is the more than one million displaced people within its boundaries, and he urged the world community, including neighboring Thailand, to help.

“We really need to work together in the future more and more on this issue,” he told reporters. He encouraged Myanmar’s regime to consider recent military losses as a warning that they should cede power to the people.

“Please don’t waste time any more,” the man urged. “This is the time, and a good opportunity, to listen to people first.”

Myanmar Military Conscription

Aye Chan, 25 hanged himself on Tuesday morning at his home in Taungoo, Bago Region: Photo Myanmar Now

Young Man Chooses Suicide Over Myanmar Military Conscription

In other Myanmar news, a young man committed suicide on Tuesday morning at his home in Taungoo, Bago Region, after being chosen by lottery for conscription into the army, according to his neighbours.

Aye Chan, 25, also known as Kauk Kauk, lived in Ward 16 in Taungoo, Bago Region. She died. His funeral took place on Monday, the day after he died, The Myanmar Now reported.

“A few days ago, the ward administrator arrived to inform him that he had been picked for conscription through a random selection process. “He said he was upset and started drinking heavily, became depressed, and then hanged himself the next morning,” a person close to Aye Chan’s family said.

Aye Chan left behind a wife and two children. The bereaved family is very upset by his unexpected passing and prefers not to engage with the media, according to individuals close to them. Taungoo officials have yet to share any information or make any statements regarding the suicide.

Another Taungoo resident, who knew Aye Chan and claimed he committed himself because he did not want to join in the army, accused local junta-appointed administrators of collecting or extorting bribes from wealthy families who refused to respond to the summons for military duty.

“This law has a greater influence in metropolitan communities with high incomes. “I’ve heard extortion is going on,” the Taungoo resident claimed. In another recent incidence, a young Muslim conscript from Yangon Region’s Taikkyi Township died of unknown causes four days into his military service.

The deceased was Ko Ko Latt, 27, who had also been selected for mandatory duty at random. He died at the Mingaladon Defence Services General Hospital in Yangon.

Myanmar’s military is in desperate need of personnel after experiencing an increase in desertions and combat casualties in recent months, as clashes rage across the country. In February of this year, the military dictatorship announced preparations to enforce a ten-year-old conscription statute.

Since the law’s reactivation, the regime’s administrators have been creating lists of all young males aged 18 to 35—the qualifying age range under the conscription law—and choosing names from the lists for obligatory military service.

Conscript selection and training have already begun, despite the regime’s original assertions that the first wave of recruits would begin service after the Thingyan holidays in mid-April.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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