At military camps in the Myanmar jungle, doctors and students learn how to fire guns
May 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 20.5%. 2 min read.
A dozen armed recruits crawl along a dusty pathway, the cicadas masking any sound of their approach towards their target, a small village in the jungles of Myanmar.
So they have traveled to the county's borderlands, to areas control by ethnic armed groups that have been fighting the military, central government and each other for greater rights and autonomy, on and off for 70 years, to be taught how to fire a gun.
Major General Nerdah Bo Mya is Chief of Staff of the Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO), one of two armed wings of the Karen National Union (KNU), Myanmar's oldest rebel group that claims to protect the ethnic minority Karen people and their territory in southeastern Karen state.
One 18-year-old, who was manning a roadblock in the city of Bago last month when dozens were killed by the military, said many of his comrades had traveled to the ethnic areas for training.
Major General Nerbah Bo Mya says the anti-coup protestors worry the international community will forget about them, saying: "They all look up to the American government for democracy and freedom and if Chinese and Russian governments can help the brutal corrupt military regime why the American government cannot help these people who are striving for freedom and democracy in Burma. "
The Myanmar military's sustained conflict with ethnic minorities has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and rights groups have long linked soldiers to atrocities and human rights abuses in ethnic regions, including massacres, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture, and forced labor.
In Karen State, General Nerdah Bo Mya says ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) feel they have an obligation to work together with anti-coup protestors to rid the country of military dictatorship.
There is no doubt that three or four weeks of basic training does not equip these doctors and students to fight against a well-armed military.