Two CDM Soldiers Defect from Thay Baw Boe Military Council Camp to Join KNU

Two young soldiers belonging to the 102nd Light Infantry Battalion stationed at the Thay Baw Boe Military Council camp, located in the southern region of Myawaddy Township, have reportedly joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and defected to the Tar Oo Hta camp situated in the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) 6th Brigade territory.

According to two CDM soldiers, Thaw Zin Oo and Thar Chit, who are both 20-year-old privates and had joined the Civil Disobedience Movement, were transferred by KNU officials to a safe liberated area on May 5.

It is reported that Thaw Zin Oo and Thar Chit were arrested by the Military Council following their attendance at a friend’s sister’s birthday party in a ward located in Mingaladon Township, Yangon. Following their arrest, they were sent to the Yamethin Military Training Academy for military recruitment.

According to a CDM soldier who spoke to KIC, the two joined the Civil Disobedience Movement while they were being transported to the Thay Baw Boe military camp in Karen State in December 2022.

pted to flee but were eventually caught and subjected to physical punishment by the entire institution. The trainers feared losing their positions if anyone escaped under their watch, and therefore, they resorted to flattery. Later, when I was deployed to the front line, I learned that anyone caught trying to escape and recaptured would be executed on the spot as a PDF. We chose to engage in CDM rather than turn against each other,” CDM soldier Thar Chit said.

As per the CDM soldiers, the 102nd Light Infantry Battalion, which falls under the 44th Division stationed in Mottama, Mon State and is currently deployed in the KNLA 6th Brigade area, is reportedly carrying out joint operations with the ceasefire Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) troops along the Hpalu – Waw Lay road.

KIC-Karen news agency is currently attempting to establish contact with the relevant leaders of the DKBA group to verify the aforementioned statement.

According to the two soldiers who joined the CDM and defected to the KNLA, the Military Council’s columns consist of numerous young individuals who were apprehended for various crimes after the military coup. These individuals were then given military training and sent to the frontline battlefield.

Soldier Thaw Zin Oo, who defected after joining CDM, said, “Many of our friends who underwent military training alongside us now find themselves on the front lines. If caught engaging in drug use, fighting, lacking employment, or not possessing an NRC card, these individuals are forced to join the military. Nobody willingly desires to go to war. In addition, administrative officials are eager to promote themselves by visiting the front line. By spending only a month on the front line and then returning to the rear, they can secure a promotion and transfer to a new position.”

According to sources assisting the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), there are more than 50 soldiers, including majors, captains, and privates, who have defected from the Military Council and joined the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) along the Hpalu – Waw Lay road, which has been a site of intense fighting between the two sides for over two years.

The People’s Embrace Group, People’s Goal Group,People’s Soldier’s Wives Group, and KNU officials are reportedly offering assistance to those who have joined the Civil Disobedience Movement and defected to the liberated areas. This assistance includes provisions such as food, employment opportunities, and accommodations.

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