More than 1,000 relatives and associates of army personnel have fled to the capital Naypyidaw over recent weeks, sources within Naypyidaw’s military community told DVB. It is believed that the exodus is being driven by renewed fears of being targeted by armed groups operating under the National Unity Government (NUG) umbrella.
According to a military source in Naypyidaw, a list of military families was submitted to the UN OCHA on April 20 and assistance was requested for those displaced.
Since the NUG announced that its armed groups were to switch tact from “defensive” to “offensive” operations, military associates have flocked to the capital’s deserted suburbs — sources say that the price of real estate in certain parts of the city have more than doubled due to the influx.
“In the past, few people lived in areas like Zabuthiri [a neighborhood in Naypyidaw],” a Naypyidaw resident told DVB.
Someone close those making the move said that the recent attack on the vice-chariman of the Central Bank of Myanmar, Than Than Swe, was a key driver of the mass relocation.
Around 1,080 people have believed to have moved to Naypyidaw from areas across Burma. Recent reports suggest that the junta fears an escalation of conflict over the monsoon season — a time where the utility of its air power, key to the protection of troops performing operations in Burma’s northwest and southeast — is compromised.
Naypyidaw was declared the capital of Burma in 2005 by the administration of former dictator Than Shwe and is located around 400 km north of Yangon. Military and central administrative offices relocated to the city shortly after it was made the capital.
Located in Burma’s central lowlands, the city is designed as a military bulwark against foreign and internal threats. Despite this, PDF groups have reported launching sporadic attacks on military targets in the city since the second half of 2021.