Rebel Loss of Myawaddy Town


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The Myanmar junta has recaptured the town of Myawaddy, an important trading hub on the border with Thailand, reversing a key victory for resistance soldiers who seized it nearly two weeks ago.

Border Guard Force Defection

The seizure of Myawaddy by junta troops followed the defection of a well-armed local militia known as the Border Guard Force, which had briefly switched sides and joined ethnic Karen rebels and allied pro-democracy forces in taking the town on April 11.

Rebel Withdrawal

“In light of this critical situation and to avoid falling into the enemy’s trap, we must temporarily withdraw our Karen National Liberation Army joint forces from Myawaddy,” said Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the spokesman for the Karen National Union.

Regime’s Efforts to Retake Myawaddy

The regime sought to regain Myawaddy by sending a convoy with reinforcements from army bases less than three hours away. Faced with frequent ambushes and assaults by guerrilla fighters along the highway, the convoy still had not reached Myawaddy 12 days later.

While the resistance held Myawaddy, the army bombed civilian targets in the town including roads and a bus station, killing at least seven people and injuring 30.

For decades, ethnic armed groups fought for autonomy for their individual regions. But since the coup, many of the groups have joined forces with the aim of ousting the junta and replacing its leadership with a federal democracy.

“Our mission extends beyond the confines of Myawaddy,” Mr. Saw Taw Nee said. “Our objective is not merely regime change to replace the current rulers of the country. We aim for systemic change, transforming all corrupt systems within the nation.”

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