Military council forcibly recruiting men as old as 60 in Bago Township

Villages that could not provide the military with enlistees were forced to pay extortionate sums or, in at least two cases, subjected to arson attacks

The Myanmar junta is forcing villages in Bago Region to offer up men for service in the Pyu Saw Htee militias, demanding exorbitant amounts of money from those that fail to present volunteers, according to locals. 

The Karen National Union (KNU) and other anti-junta groups operating in the region confirmed that the military was implementing this forcible recruitment strategy in villages near several of the region’s towns including Hswar, Kyauktaga, Nyaunglebin, Okpho, Paungde, Waw, and Yedashe. Each village is forced to present 10 to 30 men for enlistment. 

“We told them no one from our village wanted to join the militias. Since then, the administrator has been forcibly recruiting men who went outside after 8pm. We had to plead with them not to do that inside the village,” said a resident of one of the villages targeted by the military.

He added that the junta officials. . .

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