Striking railway officers prepare for armed resistance against junta

Some railway officers taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement’s (CDM) general strike have chosen to join the armed resistance against Myanmar’s junta and have formed their own defence force in liberated territory controlled by an ethnic armed organisation. 

A resistance force calling itself the “Myanmar Railways People’s Defence Force” was formed on September 25, the group’s leader told Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity.

“We have chosen to engage in armed resistance because it is the fastest and most effective way to eradicate the dictatorship,” he explained. 

The leader claimed to have undergone military training with the Kachin Independence Army.

The railway officers are reportedly working alongside another local defence force in Kachin State and are recruiting more striking railway workers to join their struggle. 

It is not known how many members currently belong to the railway officers’ armed group. 

“We want to be able to form a platoon at the very least. That is our primary goal,” the leader said, referring to a group of up to 55 members. 

A mass strike carried out by railway officers following the February coup resulted in the complete cessation of Myanmar’s railway systems, which have been unable to resume services. 

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