First Burma Army deserters since ceasefire agreement

After receiving abuse from their senior officers, three Burma Army soldiers deserted to Phop Phra district on the Thai side of the border at the end of last month. The soldiers were from the Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 61 operating in the Waw Lay area, Myawaddy Township in Karen State. According to local military sources these are the first soldiers to desert from the Burma Army since the preliminary ceasefire agreement between the government and the Karen National Union.

The soldiers explained to Karen News that they witnessed a lot of force labor used by the army and they themselves were beaten by their officers.

A soldier [censored the name for the security reason] said.

“They asked us to carry water and cut bamboo. If we failed to complete their orders, they beat us and punished us. They [officer] are not good to us even we try to follow orders, because of this we deserted.”

The three soldiers had only been in the army for five months. According to soldiers two of them were forcibly recruited and threaten to become soldiers.

The three soldiers are now working for the daily wages on the Thai Burma border and are afraid to return to Burma.

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