USDA still actively recruiting on Thai-Burma border

IMNA : Despite widespread allegations that the group is now defunct, sources indicate that the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) is still active on the Thai Burma Border, and is busily recruiting members for its association.

According to USDA members and businessmen in Three Pagodas Pass  (TPP) sub-township, Kyainnseikyi Township,  Karen State, the organization is using both business opportunity offers and threats as its campaign tools. These individuals reported that friends and family members of pre-existing USDA members are the primary recruitment targets. These sources said the USDA began its campaign for members last week, shortly after the Burmese government officially announced that the country’s upcoming elections would be held on November 7th of this year.

The USDA is a Burmese government-controlled civilian social organization that many believed to have been disbanded in early July of this year, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, who reported on the supposed dissolution of the group on July 6th of this year.

The association was believed to have been replaced by the official government-backed political party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). However, this seems to not be the case along the Thai-Burma border.

“The USDA start organizing people near by them. People who were friendly with them,” a USDA member told IMNA. He reported that the official USDA organizer at TPP is named U Lwin Htay, and the vice organizer is  named U Cho Lay. TPP at present contains a pre-existing USDA office; a USDP office has not yet been established. Continue reading “USDA still actively recruiting on Thai-Burma border”

Ceremonial transformation of DKAB to Border Guard Force (Part 1)-2

A ceremony to mark the transformation of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) into a Border Guard Force yesterday was joined by senior Burmese military officials.

Around 40 army officials were appointed positions in the new Border Guard Force (BGF) during the ceremony in DKBA-controlled Karen state’s Hlaingbwe township, in a move that will see DKBA troops assimilated into the Burmese army. Two other transformations are reportedly tabled for 22 August, including that of DKBA Brigade 999, led by Colonel Chit Thu. Continue reading “Ceremonial transformation of DKAB to Border Guard Force (Part 1)-2”