Tue, 16 Aug 2022

Military-backed militias carry out brutal assaults on dissidents

Khalid Umar Malik
04 Jul 2022, 02:55 GMT+10

SHAN STATE, Myanmar - Locals claim that the Pa-O National Organisation (PNO) militia has been forcibly recruiting members from villages across multiple southern Shan State townships to fight anti-junta resistance groups.

In April, the military launched a renewed assault on southern Shan State in search of guerrilla fighters and their bases. The resistance has claimed that PNO-affiliated forces fought alongside the Myanmar army during clashes in the region, an allegation that the PNO has denied.

Since early this year, anti-coup guerrilla groups have been active in various townships in collaboration with defense forces based in neighboring Karenni (Kayah) State.

Conscription into a PNO-aligned militia is said to have begun in these areas in May.

Members of local resistance forces have accused the PNO of establishing chapters of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee in the region: plainclothes junta allies who are typically trained and armed by Myanmar's military council and have been implicated in brutal assaults on villages in central and northwestern Myanmar.

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