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from MIZZIMA News Group...Burmese s (r)

Subject: from MIZZIMA News Group...Burmese soldiers deserting from the army

Burmese soldiers deserting the army

Date: 20th October 1998
By: MIZZIMA News Group

Due to prevailing circumstances, some soldiers have been deserting from
the Burmese army and joining with anti-government armed ethnic groups,
which are based in the border areas of the country. According to a recent
press release of Arakan Army, some soldiers have defected from the Burmese
army and joined its army in recent months. Arakan Army is the military
wing of National United Party of Arakan (NUPA), which is one of the armed
groups still fighting against the Burmese military government. 

These soldiers, along with their weapons, have been deserting from the
Burmese army due to general dissatisfaction in the army. "Inequality of
privilege between high and low and rank and file, political difference
between the high-ranking commanders, insufficiency of salary and
dissatisfaction on strict tight-lip inside the army are prevailing within
the Burma Army today," said NUPA in its press release which was issued on
18th October.

The press release further mentioned the details of five soldiers who
joined the Arakan Army in the past three months. These soldiers, after
they deserted from their respective battalions stationed in Arakan State
of Burma, joined with the troops of Arakan Army in Buthitaung-Maungdaw
township region in Arakan State which is bordering with India and
Bangladesh. Pvt. Myo Win with Pvt. No. 878651 is the last one who joined
the Arakan revolutionary group on 8th October. In September, three
soldiers from Burmese army including Pvt. Win Myint (Pvt. No. 794831) who
deserted the army with one assault rifle and some ammunition joined the
Arakan Army.

According to the press release, some higher rank senior officers are also
deserting from the army to join with other rebel groups, which are
fighting for freedom from all types of oppression of the Burmese military