Wed, 01 Dec 2021

Be on right side of history, get reward. PDF baits Junta soldiers

Khalid Umar Malik
28 Oct 2021, 06:25 GMT+10

SHAN, Myanmar (Reuters) - People's Defence Force (PDF) fighters in Pekhon, Shan State, are offering 5 million kyats ($2,600) in incentives to members of the junta's forces who surrender with their weapons, according to a statement released on Sunday.

The offer comes after the dissident force discovered that family members of police and soldiers were killed in a PDF raid while serving as guards in the area. This technique could indicate that the military is short on human resources in the area.

In upper Myanmar, where rebel forces have killed hundreds of soldiers in recent months, the junta attracts retired army personnel. According to the National Unity Government, at least 4,456 members of the junta's military had been killed around the country as of October 7.

The Pekhon PDF stated that it made the offer because soldiers and police personnel are in challenging circumstances with instructions to deploy their family members for active duty and hence require assistance in defecting.

"When we raided their base the other day, we found out that they were employing the family members of the army officers as security guards with a wage of 7,000 kyats per day," the group's spokesperson said.

He said five persons were killed in Friday's attack on a military station, including the adult children of military officers.

Three of those slain were women who the PDF mistook for troops but were, in fact, relatives of soldiers who had been given uniforms and rifles, according to the organization.

"That is why we are making this offer," he added. "We know that they had no choice but to obey the military council's orders, and that is why we are giving them a chance."

The offer was also an opportunity for troops and police personnel to be on the right side of history. He stated that the PDF would be responsible for the deserters' security, food, and lodging.

"All they have to do is leave. It doesn't matter how many weapons they bring. We have enough donations to provide rewards for them. They just have to come here."

"Even if too many of them come, we'll still try to keep our end of the offer. We'd have to buy weapons otherwise anyway," he added.

According to resistance groups, fighting in Pekhon has lately risen due to ongoing military operations in the region, which have resulted in multiple civilian casualties.

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