Junta Withdraws From 3 Camps in KNU 5th Brigade Territory

The Military Council troops, stationed in Luthaw Township in Mutraw (Hpapun) District of Karen National Union (KNU) 5th Brigade, has vacated three camps since the start of the new year, as reported by KNU Mutraw Newsletter.

A member of a drone strike team, operating in collaboration with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of KNU, informed KIC that a segment of troops from the Junta’s 349th Light Infantry Battalion had already deserted or surrendered due to the KNLA’s multi-directional attacks and strategic blockades. Junta troops that had been stationed there for nearly two decades.

“In operations led by the KNLA, our joint forces strategically disrupted the logistics and weapon transportation routes of the Junta troops. This also led a reduction of their food supplies and finally the abandonment of the camps. Despite attempted airdrops, food provisions failed to reach them and were often confiscated by our forces. Now we have cordoned off the remaining camps where Junta troops are still stationed in the region, and some enemy troops surrendered in recent days”, he said.

On February 10th, troops from the 349th Light Infantry Battalion deserted the Lekalaykyo camp and joined Junta forces in Kyulu. The next day, both groups left Kyulu camp to regroup at the Mawphu tactical command base. Currently, all soldiers have withdrawn from that base as well.

At the same time there has been a steady rise in the desertion of soldiers from the Junta camps within the KNU 5th Brigade areas, while some other camps were captured by KNLA. Former private Ko Li O, who decided to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), noted that Junta soldiers, encountering setbacks from multiple directions, are prone to abandoning their camps due to their declining morale.

“Their morale is already very low. Junta soldiers should have defected to the people earlier. Now, the People’s Defense Force (PDF) has dominated almost all over the region. The Junta’s senior commanders appear to still believe they can maintain control over their soldiers under their command. However in reality soldiers fled because they recognized the impossibility of retaining control over the camps”, he told KIC.

According to KNU’s annual report for 2023, there were 1857 clashes between the KNLA-led joint forces and the terrorist Military Council, resulting in 869 Junta troops killed and 609 injured throughout the year.

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