Ywathit Residents Fearful of Being Forced to Join PMF

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The Burma army has been compiling the names of individuals in Ywarthit who have been trapped in the town by the army in August during its offensive against the resistance forces in Bawlakhe Township, Karenni State.

A local individual stated, “Two weeks ago, they were told to serve in the Pyawsawhtee People’s Militia Force (PMF)…They told these local individuals to protect their region. They are collecting the names of both males and females between the ages of 17 and 55.”

The army has been collecting the names of individuals sheltering in the four Buddhist monasteries in the town since July.

Some of the 300 townspeople who are hostages in the town have been blindfolded and tortured at an interrogation centre. Some have been released, while others have not.

“Some people are unable to walk after being tortured in the interrogation centre. They were severely beaten, and the soldiers didn’t provide them with food and water. They were tied up under the sun and placed in a dirt bunker at night.”

Several residents were shot dead when they clandestinely attempted to leave the monastery for their farms.

Although Colonel Bone Naing, adjutant general of the Karenni Army, hasn’t received any information to prove that the army is compelling residents to serve in the PMF, he stated that if it’s true, it demonstrates how desperate the junta forces are after the Karenni resistance surrounded the town, and they have been unable to leave it. Although there is no fighting at the moment, conflict could erupt at any time.

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