An interview with KNU’s Spokesperson Padoh Saw Taw Nee
The fighting between the Myanmar Army and the joint resistance forces has been intense in the Mekaneil area of Myawady Township, which is controlled by Brigade 6 of the Karen National Union (KNU). During the ongoing battle, the military regime has employed a series of rockets in addition to air attacks.
In an interview with the Than Lwin Times, Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the spokesperson of the Karen National Union, talked about the regime’s intense offensives in the KNU area, the issue of internally displaced people, and the military defectors seeking refuge in the KNU area.
Q: The military council has been constantly attacking from both the ground and air near Kyauk Taung in the Mekaneil area of Brigade 6 in the south of Myawady Township. What do you think about this situation? Can you tell us what’s currently happening with the military situation?
The military regime is launching massive offensives in the Mekaneil area of southern Myawady Township, both on the ground and from the air. From what we can tell, they’re struggling to maintain control of the territory, and it looks like they’re losing ground. It’s clear that they’re launching these offensives because they can’t accept their defeat. With the current situation, it’s obvious that they no longer have any control over these areas.
Q: The military council’s offensives have led to displacement of civilians and damage to their homes, and the number of displaced people is only increasing. What’s your take on their actions? Can you tell us what the KNU is doing to help internally displaced people?
They call it “offensives”, but in reality, the military regime is targeting civilians. They’re using aircraft to bomb and artillery to shell civilian areas day and night without any provocation. They’ve even fired artillery shells at villages where IDPs are taking refuge, causing an increase in their numbers. This amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The junta leader is fighting a losing battle and is stuck in a vicious cycle. As for us, we are continuously working with civil society organizations to provide urgent aid to IDPs because they are our own people. The number of IDPs in our areas has exceeded 500,000 since the military coup in 2023.
Q: Some soldiers from the junta defected in Hpapun District the other day. What’s the situation with military defections? Can you give us an estimate? And how are they being taken care of?
A lot of soldiers from the military council have actually defected recently because they just can’t handle the situation anymore. Their ground troops are losing morale and they don’t want to fight anymore. They keep suffering heavy losses in every battle they’re in. These soldiers claim that they’re supposed to be launching offensives, but whenever fighting starts, they end up leaving their equipment behind and running away. Their morale is at rock bottom, and things on the ground are not looking good at all. They’re now resorting to using aircraft to bomb targets. It’s hard to say exactly how many soldiers have defected from the junta, as we have different reports from different areas. But those in charge of dealing with military defections will be able to tell you more about it.
Sent by The Than Lwin Times.