3 Arakanese youths escape from forced military service

Maung Aye

Buthidaung: Three Arakanese youths have escaped after they were tricked with job opportunities and forcibly recruited in the Burmese army.

The youths are reportedly the residents of Arkarpyan Village under Kinchaung Village Group in Buthidaung Township in northern Arakan State and are identified as Aye Kyaw Tun, son of U Maung Mya, Aung Soe Maung, son of U Maung Than Tun, and Maung Tun Lunn, son of U Shwe Win.

“They were taken by Shwe Thein from the Engineer Battalion No. (1) based in Buthidaung, Sergeant Than Shwe and U Than Zaw from Myoma Ward of Buthidaung to Sittwe on the promise that they would earn 3,000 Kyat per day on February 12, 2012”,said one of their relatives.

Their relative said that they were forced to join to the army by their military brokers after they were taken to the basic military camp no. 3 in Magwe in central Burma on the premise that the factories in Sittwe were shut down.

“The military personnel forced them to join to the army with threat when they were in the basic military camp in Magwe. After they continued to refuse to do so, they were given time to  reconsider. In the meantime they managed to escape from the camp on March 9 and came back to Buthidaung on March 17”, said the relative.

The youths were said to have escaped from the camp risking their lives for their freedom with no money and food on their way back home.

“They were extremely exhausted and in dire physical weakness when they came back to Buthidaung. They told us that they had to come back home begging for help from the people on their way escaping from the military camp, sometimes on buses and sometimes walking and that they had to skip five meals on their way”, said the source.

The office of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party in Buthidaung also confirmed that the story of the youths is true, and they have now come back to their homes.