Burma’s Regime Calls Back Retired Soldiers

By Network Media Group
Thursday, November 25, 2021

The regime has begun recalling retired soldiers who were honourably discharged after suffering many deaths and desertions during the conflict with civilian resistance and ethnic armed groups in Burma.

A former soldier from southern Shan State told NMG that the army only wants trustworthy soldiers, especially those who’ve served in high-ranking positions, and not ex-soldiers who’ve been dismissed or arrested for subordination. The military offers returning soldiers 8,000 kyat ($4) a day and a rifle and pistol for their service. According to the source, some high-ranking officers are trying to leave their posts by paying bribes of up to 5 million kyat ($3K), and the military fears they’ll join the resistance.

A former soldier from Bhamo in Kachin State told NMG that the army invited former soldiers from Myitkyina and Bhamo to a meeting to recruit them. “Some ex-soldiers went to the meeting but I didn’t go because I’m already an old man and I want to live in peace,” he said, explaining that some of his former soldiers have rejoined the army and he’s seen some of them providing security at schools that have recently opened.

Before the coup, the soldiers served on the front lines for six months before returning to their battalions, he says, but now they’ve to stay out, even though some have been there for over a year.