Naga Armed Group Accused of Forced Recruitment on Lido Road

By Network Media Group
Friday, September 15, 2023

The Eastern Naga National Organization/Eastern Naga Defense Army (ENNO/ENDA) has
denied accusations of forcibly recruiting Naga youths living along the Lido Road.

“I want to emphasize that ENNO/ENDA does not forcibly recruit youths in the area. At the same
time, we are unaware of which armed organization has been engaging in such activities,” said U
Jimmy, the general secretary.

The armed group released a four-point statement on 7 September, highlighting that their troops
are not yet active between Tanai Township in Kachin State and Nanyun Township in the Naga
Naga Self-administered Zone next to the Lido Road. Therefore, they questioned how they could
be forcing youths to join their ranks. ENNO/ENDA firmly denied the charges and expressed
strong opposition to armed groups coercing civilians into joining them.

A resident from Nanyun town, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claimed that the Kachin
Independence Army (KIA) had forced Naga youths from along the Lido Road and Tanai
Township to become KIA soldiers after the 2021 coup.

“A few weeks ago, four people were abducted by KIA troops while on their way to school,” he
said, emphasizing that these abductions have instilled a pervasive fear among travelers on the
Lido Road, which is vital for those needing to travel from Nanyun to Myitkyina.

Other locals have also accused the KIA of forcibly recruiting youths along the highway where
both the armed group and the Burma army are active, but they could not say how many
abductions took place.

In connection with this matter, NMG made repeated attempts to contact the spokesperson of the
KIA’s political arm, the Kachin Independence Organization, for comment, but received no

In Hpakant Township, locals claim that ENNO/ENDA forced 50 Naga youths to become soldiers
on 8 March. The armed group, formed in 2021, states that its goal is to secure rights for Nagas in Burma.