Magway’s People’s Revolutionary Alliance (PRA Magway), a local defense force, said its group has received support from the Arakan Army (AA) and is working to liberate the entirety of Magway Region before Thingyan (Burmese new year) 2023.
PRA Magway will first attempt to consolidate Magway’s “liberated areas”, a move that will allow it to next gain piecemeal control of townships west of the Ayeyarwady river, Maj. Hakuli, the PRA’s head of military affairs, told DVB.
“Policies have been formulated with allies as we can not achieve this alone. Every battle is won with the cooperation of the people and our allies. We understand that this revolution will end quickly and effectively only after all revolutionary organizations unite.”
The resistance group is believed to have been provided significant military assistance — including weaponry — from the AA. Displaced peoples and those participating in Burma’s Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in the region have also been granted shelter by the EAO, the official said.
PRA Magway is a sizeable defense force said to consist of a number of female fighters. The group claims it has trained residents of Magway’s Salin, Sidoktaya and Ngape townships, and has also begun forming a unit of Asho people (an ethnic Chin grouping).
“I came to PRA (Magway) after connecting with a friend because I wanted to overthrow the dictatorship. There are night operations in the jungle. In these situations, it is very difficult to to keep up with the men — it is extremely challenging,” said Ma Dada, a female PRA official.
The defense force says it has completed three comprehensive paramilitary training courses for recruits, with each cohort consisting of at least 100 to 300 trainees. The fourth is underway, with new members being systematically screened, Bo Hakuli told DVB.
PRA officials held virtual talks with the National Unity Government’s (NUG) Defense Minister, Yee Mon, on Sunday. Although the defense force is not part of the command structure of the NUG’s Ministry of Defense, the group told DVB that it had sworn to adhere to the National Unity Consultative Committee’s (NUCC) Federal Charter, and that it would work closely with NUG forces to take territory west of the Ayeyarwady.