Myanmar Military started force recruitment of underaged boys; many youths fled

Myanmar Military started force recruitment of underaged boys; many youths fled

Written By: / Saturday, 17 April 2021 17:40

IT News
Imphal, April 17:

There is no official record of how many of them are taking refuge in Indian border states, but as many as 15 of them all under 18 years including some school children who are below 14 years of age are found hiding inside Indian territories of Indo –Myanmar Border villages. These children whom our representatives accidentally came across are sent by their parents in Myanmar to escape from the claws of the Military Junta who are picking them for force recruitment to the Military (Myanmar Army).
Imphal Times representatives along with a team of ITV News later went to the border villages and investigate why and how they cross the border.
Our representative managed to interview two youths who had escaped from Myanmar identified as Aung Lin (13 years) and Kyaw Lin (15 years). Both are brothers.
They want to go back as they miss their mother but their mother told them to stay until the crisis in Myanmar is settled.
“The situation is very volatile in our town and the army is continually raiding houses. So don’t think of even coming soon,” said the weeping mother on the other side of the phone.
Both brothers were studying in the local school of a small Myanmar town and were living with a family of six after the death of their father.
After their father died, their mother began working hard in their fields to ensure a proper education for her sons.
After the coup on February 1, the Junta started facing massive civilian protests all across the country, and at many places policemen revolted and ran away to India, leaving behind their jobs and families.
Most of these policemen were not willing to shoot the pro-democracy supporters and have joined a civil disobedience movement called by ousted leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi.
Faced with its depleting ranks in the armed forces, the Myanmar army started recruiting young children.
As per a report, Myanmar has the largest number of underaged child soldiers. Aljazeera had reported the number of child soldiers in Myanmar to be over 50,000.
15 years old Kyaw Lin told the reporter’s team, “ “They began searching for young boys in the day time and they would come in the night to pick them up for forcible recruitment in the army,”
“They searched for us as well. So me and my friends ran away from there and have taken shelter in India.”
Many families are hiding on the Indian side to avoid the daily violence and the army’s brutality in Myanmar.
A source said that children are running away from the country because the army is using its muscle power to recruit them. So boys aged 12-15 are running away from their homes and hiding in other countries and in jungles.
Myanmar is thought to have up to 50,000 children serving for its armed forces, one of the largest numbers of underage soldiers in the world.
The military and its trigger-happy soldiers are ruthless and renowned for their brutality and these kids have seen their brutality and exploitation of children with their own eyes.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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