Police officers who joined Civil Disobedience Movement in Kalay form their own law enforcement service 

Police officers who left their posts to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the junta in Kalay have formed their own law enforcement service in partnership with local People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighters. 

The Kalay Police Service, officially formed on Monday, is the latest parallel institution set up by members of Myanmar’s resistance to undermine the junta’s bid for legitimacy and prevent it from governing the country.

A spokesperson for the service said its police officers would make use of their in-depth understanding of legal and procedural matters to support rule of law. 

“This region in particular is in need of rule of law and the Kalay PDF asked us to take up this role, so we decided to form an organization as soon as possible,” said the spokesperson, who did not want to be named. 

The service said in a statement that it will also provide training for local youths with the aim of creating police officers who value human rights and are capable of bringing peace and rule of law in the region.

Kalay Township is one of several areas of Sagaing Region that has seen fierce fighting between resistance groups and the junta’s forces, who have committed widespread human rights abuses against civilians in the area.  

“We only have control over 50% of the area,” said the Kalay Police Service spokesperson. “The locals already know who we are, so they can just come to us for whatever case they have and we will examine those cases as per usual.” 

Another service formed by CDM police officers was established on Monday in Magway Region’s Gangaw, where PDF fighters have also secured partial control of territory with guerrilla-style attacks against the Myanmar military. 

In August anti-junta police officers in Kayah State formed the Karenni State Police (KSP). The National Unity Government’s (NUG) deputy environment and natural resources minister, Khun Bedu, sits on the organization’s executive committee. 

The KSP said its duties include law enforcement, public safety, criminal and departmental matters, and investigative matters, as well as confiscating illegal drugs and arresting and examining military informants.

Over 6,000 police officers with ranks ranging from private to major have defected since the military seized power on February, according to figures from the NUG. 

The Myanmar Police Force had an estimated 90,000 officers before the coup. 

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