Myanmar junta mulls raising village militias
Yangon: Myanmar’s junta is considering raising village militias to combat opposition to its rule, state media said Tuesday, as it struggles to assert control more than six months after seizing power.
The country has been in turmoil since Aung San Suu Kyi’s government was ousted in a February coup, sparking huge pro-democracy protests and a bloody military crackdown.
Local “self-defence groups” have sprung up to fight the military, often using hunting rifles or weapons manufactured at makeshift jungle factories.
The groups have added to the volatile mix in Myanmar, where more than 20 ethnic rebel groups were already in various stages of conflict with the military before the coup.
The State Administration Council — as the junta dubs itself — has discussed the “systematic formation of village people’s militia troops,” the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar reported Tuesday.
It also discussed rewards for those informing on anti-junta protesters, and the “effective hindering” of established insurgent groups on Myanmar’s fringes who are providing weapons and training. – AFP