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Students enroll in university to avoid military conscription; Drone training at Yangon air defense headquarters

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Students enroll in university to avoid military conscription

Students said that enrollment for the distance learning program at Yangon’s Dagon University has increased as they are temporarily exempt from the military conscription law. Classes for the distance learning program began on May 4.

“I joined the university this year because of the conscription law,” said a university student who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) after the 2021 military coup. He added that university tuition fees have doubled.

“They [military] could also get students’ information once they enroll at a university,” said a member of the Dagon University Students’ Union. Many citizens aged 18 to 35 have evaded the law by finding work abroad or by going to areas of the country under the control of resistance forces.  

Human Rights Watch investigates claims of white phosphorus use

Bonnie Docherty, the senior arms advisor in the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, spoke to DVB. She said that her team is trying to collect evidence to corroborate claims made by the Karen National Union (KNU) that the military used white phosphorus munitions during fighting in Kawkareik Township of Karen State in April. 

“We have experts at Human Rights Watch that can analyze it. The most solid way to determine is to find remnants of the white phosphorus, either remnants of the munition itself of the shells or pieces, which are harder to find because they burn up,” she said.  

Docherty added that white phosphorus munitions are primarily used as a smokescreen or to illuminate an area during combat, but it can also be used as an incendiary weapon. The KNU and the National Unity Government (NUG) did not respond to DVB requests for a comment on the allegations of the use of white phosphorus. 

Drone training at Yangon air defense headquarters

Hmawbi Township residents told DVB that the military has been conducting training on the use of combat drones at its No. 5 Air Defense Operations Command Headquarters in Yangon Region since April 28. The military has been accelerating its use of combat drones during operations in Mon and Karen states. 

“High-ranking officials are learning drone technology from Russia, as well as air defense and aviation. Troops involved in [all military] operations are being taught by these officials,” added the source.

Chinese-made drones were identified during the fighting in Myawaddy and Kawkareik townships. The regime stated that its officials, including the regime Minister of Home Affairs Yar Pyae, visited Russia and China April 11-30 to purchase combat drones. Read more here.

News by Region

A Kanthit village resident inspects an arson attack in Myaing Township on May 8. (Credit: CJ)

MAGWAY—Two civilians were killed and at least 20 others were arrested by the military following an arson attack on 13 homes at a People’s Defense Force (PDF) camp in Kanthit village of Myaing Township on Wednesday. “We managed to escape as we were tipped off that around 80 military personnel would raid the camp. Our camp and our ammunition, and other items, were destroyed in the fire,” said a PDF member. The 20 residents are being held in Kandaw village.

ARAKAN—The Burma Army destroyed three bridges in Maungdaw Township on May 6-7. Two were demolished on May 6 and another one was blown up on May 7. “The Burma Army was afraid of the AA potentially occupying the town, so it destroyed the bridge which connected Maungdaw,” a Maungdaw resident told DVB. 

One woman was killed by the Burma Army and a pro-military militia during an arson attack in Weithali village of Maungdaw Township on Tuesday, the Narinjara reported. A Weithali village resident accused the military of trying to stoke communal tensions between ethnic Rakhine and the Rohingya. The Burma Army has been accused of forcefully conscripting over 1,000 Rohingya to serve in militias under the military’s command during fighting against the Arakan Army (AA). 

AYEYARWADY—Pathein Township residents claimed that regime authorities are evicting over 200 shop owners with stores located near the football stadium and nearby schools. They have been ordered to vacate the area by the end of this month. “Now we have to move out as regime authorities labeled us as squatters,” said a business owner on the condition of anonymity. One shop owner claimed that they were evicted as the businesses are located near government offices and the military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) office.

SHAN—Two children were killed and three others were injured after an unexploded ordnance (UXO) detonated in Maingya village of Kutkai Township on Tuesday. “Five children played with that explosive [device] and so it suddenly exploded. I recommend that parents frequently warn their children to stay away from these [remnants of] war,” said a Kutkai resident.

Read this: The ‘second wave’ of genocide facing the Rohingya in Arakan State. If you have a story idea, please send it to [email protected]

Watch this: Who are Myanmar’s Karen State Border Guard Forces? DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow our podcast on YouTube Music.

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