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‘End of junta is near’ amid mass surrenders: Myanmar’s shadow govt

The end of the junta is near amid mass desertions and surrenders of junta troops, said Myanmar’s shadow government on Monday. 

“We have seen the mass deserting and surrender of the military council soldiers unprecedented in military history … Looking at these, it can be said that the end of the [junta] military council is near,” said Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of the National Unity Government (NUG) during his new year’s address. 

“Junta troops are facing the situation where its soldiers are either surrendering or being captured in battles on a daily basis,” said the interim leader, adding that 550 military junta soldiers have surrendered during Operation 1027 by the anti-junta Three Northern Brotherhood Alliance.

He also cited a statement by the Karen National Union, or KNU, as saying that more than 18,000 military council soldiers have been killed in the KNU-controlled areas since the coup. 

The acting president’s speech came a few days after an intense battle between the anti-junta Arakan Army (AA) and junta troops in Paletwa township, Chin state, on Dec. 29, 2023.

As a result of the battle, more than 80 military junta soldiers crossed the border and fled to India’s Mizoram state, according to Paletwa residents.

India-based the United News of India (UNI) reported on the same day that 83 junta soldiers entered Tuisenlang village on the Mizoram-Myanmar border. 

UNI stated that the junta soldiers would be sent back to Myanmar, noting that there were four instances in November and December last year when junta soldiers escaped to the Indian state of Mizoram.

Junta troops who fled to India’s Mizoram state on Dec. 29, 2023 (Citizen Journalist)

A Paletwa resident who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals told Radio Free Asia last Thursday that the military council troops had fled to the Mizoram side, fully armed.

The resident added, however, he could not confirm whether the junta soldiers were repatriated to Myanmar. 

As of Tuesday, the junta’s military council has not commented on the soldiers who fled to India. 

Aung Cho, junta council’s spokesman for Chin state and Chin state’s secretary, by phone, has also not responded to RFA’s inquiries. 

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Taejun Kang and Elaine Chan.