Myanmar generals sentenced to death as 2 die in passport queue

Myanmar generals sentenced to death as 2 die in passport queue

Protesters hold up a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi and raise three-finger salutes during a demonstration to mark the third anniversary of Myanmar’s 2021 military coup, outside of the United Nations office in Bangkok, Feb 1, 2024. (Reuters photo)
Protesters hold up a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi and raise three-finger salutes during a demonstration to mark the third anniversary of Myanmar’s 2021 military coup, outside of the United Nations office in Bangkok, Feb 1, 2024. (Reuters photo)

Myanmar's junta has given death sentences to three brigadier generals who surrendered with hundreds of troops and handed over a strategic Chinese border town to rebel fighters last month, military sources informed AFP on Monday, as two people were killed in a crush as hundreds queued for passports to leave the neighbouring country

According to a source within the military who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity due to unauthorised media contact, three brigadier generals, including the Laukkai town commander, have been sentenced to death. Another military source corroborated this information.

The sentencing follows the surrender of hundreds of troops to the Three Brotherhood Alliance in Laukkai, located in northern Shan state, after months of intense fighting. This surrender marked a significant setback for the military and drew rare public criticism from its supporters amidst ongoing opposition to the 2021 coup.

After the surrender, the officers and their troops were permitted to leave the area, but details regarding the timing of the verdict remain undisclosed. Last month, a military spokesperson confirmed to AFP that the three brigadier generals were in military custody. Myanmar's military law stipulates that leaving a post without permission can result in the death penalty.

In a separate incident, two individuals lost their lives in a tragic stampede outside a passport office in Mandalay, Myanmar, as thousands seek to depart the country to evade compulsory military service imposed by the junta.

According to a rescue worker at the scene, the victims, aged 52 and 39, succumbed to suffocation after falling into a ditch amidst the chaotic crowd. Another person sustained minor injuries. The victims were reportedly selling tokens to manage the queue.

The military, which seized power in a coup three years ago, faces mounting resistance from various armed groups and opposition to its recent conscription law.

Despite announcing the enforcement of a law to conscript men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27 into military service, details regarding its implementation remain unclear. The prospect of mandatory service has prompted a rush of individuals seeking to leave the country.

Reports have indicated long queues outside passport offices and foreign embassies as people attempt to secure travel documents and visas to escape Myanmar.

The junta, meanwhile, asserts its readiness to conscript millions but admits its limited capacity to train recruits. Additionally, it has hinted at arming pro-military militias to counter opposition forces, including the anti-coup People's Defence Forces and ethnic minority armed groups, operating across the nation.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (6)