Karen armed wing intends to recruit before Burmese army assault
Tue 21 Jul 2009, IMNA
The embattled armed wing of the largest Karen political group intends to recruit soldiers amongst Three Pagoda Pass township’s Karen population as the Burmese military government forces prepare to assault the Karen regional base.
The Karen National Union’s (KNU), Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), is intending to recruit soldiers after it has become evident that the Burmese Army will continue its offensive against the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) at brigade No. 6 located in the are of Three Pagoda Pass township.
The KNLA has been conducting brief military trainings for young men over the age of 18 throughout Karen territory for the past few years. The trainings have been conducted so that if necessary the men would be available to fight in the army.
The KNLA has already informed Karen villages that it will be recruiting villagers to serve in its army group. KNLA has not yet begun recruiting, but its efforts will focus on the Zami river area. Yet some villagers, including young men who were previously trained, are fleeing to Thailand, according to a Sa Ya Pa (Burmese military intelligence) who talked with Karen residents from TPP Township. There are Ten villages have along the Zami River and most consist of mostly Karen residents.
“I heard that the KNLA is trying to recruit villagers for their army,” said a Karen resident from TPP. “If there are 3 men in one household, the KNLA will take 2 men, and if you have 2 men in a house they will take 1.”
On July 8th the Burmese army State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) combined forces with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) in a joint offensive against the KNLA brigade No. 6 forces in the temporary Tae Tone Lone camp, 12 kilometers outside Three Pagodas Pass. The KNU is preparing their forces to push back against the DKBA.
The recent fall of the KNLA base, brigade No. 7, led to a mass exodus of Karen refugees to the Thai-Burma border in the face of human rights abuses committed by the advancing SPDC –DKBA combined force. According to KNU sources, the SPDC and DKBA joint campaign is advancing towards the brigade No. 6 stronghold.
This increase in violence has caused problems throughout the Karen community. During recent fighting between the DKBA and the KNU, 2 DKBA soldiers were killed, according to a DKBA source. Since, the DKBA has blocked Karen villagers from Maketa from entering TPP township.
“About 10 Karen villagers who were suffering from illness went to get treated at a hospital,” commented a trader close to the DKBA. “When they arrived outside TPP town at the check point, DKBA and Burmese soldiers didn’t allow them to enter the town. So they had to go through the forest to enter town.”
Dear Readers just to let you know,the KNLA is TRYING to recruit, they don,t force the ppl. into the Army.