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Surrendered troops being treated ‘humanely’; Marcos says Naypyidaw losing military support

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Surrendered troops being treated ‘humanely’

In an interview with DVB, the National Unity Government (NUG) spokesperson, Kyaw Zaw claimed that hundreds of soldiers have surrendered since the Brotherhood Alliance launched its offensive in northern Shan State on Oct. 27. He said that the NUG and resistance forces are collaborating on the battlefield and to ensure surrendered soldiers, or defectors from the military, are treated humanely. 

“We do have the military code of conduct and we do follow the Geneva Conventions to treat those POWs [Prisoners of War]. When we capture them, we give them treatment if they are injured,” said Kyaw Zaw. He added that the NUG provides surrendered soldiers with financial compensation to return home to their families. 

Kyaw Zaw claimed that nearly 20,000 soldiers have defected to resistance forces since the 2021 military coup. The NUG has stated that over 14,000 members of pro-military forces have defected to anti-coup groups from February 2021 to September 2023. DVB data states that 326 soldiers, police and militia members have surrendered since Oct. 26.

Marcos says Naypyidaw losing military support

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that Naypyidaw has lost the support of its own military, Reuters reported. He made the remarks during a forum in the U.S. citing analyses of recent fighting in Burma. 

President Marcos added that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has made little progress in ending Burma’s political crisis. “There is a great deal of impetus for ASEAN to solve this problem. But it is a very, very difficult problem,” he said. 

He claimed that the humanitarian cost of the conflict has grown exponentially since Min Aung Hlaing agreed to – but failed to implement – the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus peace plan in April 2021. The Philippines has replaced Burma as the chair of ASEAN in 2026. 

Thailand investigating Thais repatriated from Burma

Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society Prasert Jantararuangtong said that background checks were being conducted on Thai nationals repatriated from Burma on Nov. 20. 

At least 266 Thais, six Filipinos and one Singaporean were evacuated from Laukkai, located in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone in northern Shan State. They were reportedly transported from Laukkai, via Kunming, China, to Thailand on two separate flights. 

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry stated on Nov. 20 that 109 Malaysians are stranded in Laukkai. The Malaysian embassies in Yangon, Beijing, and its Consulate General in Kunming, are coordinating a rescue. Forty-one other Thai nationals rescued from scam centers were repatriated on Nov. 18. 

News by Region 

Weapons captured from four prison camps in Nawnghkio Township on Nov. 20 (Credit: NUG Ministry of Defense)

SHAN—The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA/PSLF) stated that it and the Mandalay PDF seized control of four prison camps in Nawnghkio Township on Nov. 19. “There were military outposts in the prison camps and that is why we attacked. We have found detained prisoners from revolutionary forces there,” said a TNLA spokesperson. It has seized 40 military outposts and Namhkam town since Oct. 27.

ARAKAN—Pauktaw residents trapped as fighting continues between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Burma Army are asking to be allowed to leave the town after telecommunications and electricity services were cut. “There are many people stuck in every ward of the town. They are not allowed to leave outside and are scared of being shot,” said a Pauktaw resident.

KARENNI—The NUG stated that the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) arrested one of two air force pilots in Thandaunggyi Township, Karen State on Nov. 19. Karenni forces claimed to have shot down the plane on Nov. 11. The airplane’s wreckage was found on Nov. 12. Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun claimed that the planes crashed due to a mechanical failure. 

NAYPYIDAW—The Union Election Commission (UEC) dissolved the Shan State Kokang Democratic Party (SSKDP) on Nov. 20, regime media reported. It claimed that the party failed to recruit at least 1,000 members by Aug. 27, 2023 after it registered with the UEC on May 30. 

The regime’s Political Parties Registration Law requires regional parties to have at least 1,000 members 90 days after registering with the UEC. The National League for Democracy (NLD) party was officially dissolved by the UEC in March. 

SAGAING—Four men were killed by the Burma Army in Tigyaing on Nov. 19. “They were riding motorcycles and carrying rice bags to the town. The army opened fire and killed them,” said a Tigyaing resident. The NUG stated that 17 civilians, including three children, have been killed by airstrikes in Tigyaing from Nov 12-14. 

DVB Short Docs #8: A Step to Home is on-demand via DVB TV News. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube.

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