lørdag 5. juni 2021

As bombs rain down on Myanmar's hotbeds of rural resistance, tens of thousands flee to the jungle without food or water

In a remote part of Myanmar's far west, where narrow roads zigzag through treacherous mountain passes and villages nestle on precipitous slopes and ridges, lives a centuries-old community of hunters.
Traditionally, the Chin people used their intimate knowledge of this hilly, jungle terrain and homemade hunting rifles, called Tumi, to kill wild boar, goat and deer for food. 

But lately their skills have been deployed to hunt a far more vicious prey: the Myanmar military.
When security forces started shooting unarmed peaceful protesters in the streets and arresting people by the thousands after a February military coup, Chin villagers picked up their guns to protect their towns and villages from similar attacks. Forming people's defense forces, these local militia groups made up of mainly young men have become a deadly thorn in the side of the military, known as the Tatmadaw, as it struggles to assert control over the whole country.

A member of the Chinland Defense Force (CDF), who wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons, said its fighters are "ordinary citizens" including "farmers, university students, hunters and some high school students."