Myanmar military government sentences 3 generals to death for surrendering to rebels

The town of Laukkai was also known as a centre of online gambling and scam syndicates.

Tan Min-Wei | February 21, 2024, 12:01 PM

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Three brigadier generals in Myanmar have been sentenced to death by the country's military government, following the surrender of the border town of Laukkai earlier in 2024.

Border city

According to AFP, as reported by the Bangkok Post, at least two separate military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed that three brigadier generals had been sentenced to death.

Included the town commander of Laukkai, which is the capital of the Kokang region, which fell to the Three Brotherhood Alliance just after New Year's 2024.

According to Reuters, Laukkai has been a centre of several online scam operations and the gambling dens

Scam syndicates in the town, which is near the Myanmar-China border, are known for targeting Chinese citizens. These involve both kidnapping them to be exploited in scam centres, or as targets of such scams.

Such operations have greatly frustrated Chinese authorities, and the rebels fighting against the Junta have attempted to curry favour with the Chinese government by promising to shut down the scams.

Significance of Laukkai town

Laukkai is also politically significant, as it initially fell in 2009 to military forces led by General Min Aung Hlaing, now the leader of the Junta government.

The town was taken in early January 2024 by forces from the Three Brotherhood Alliance, a coalition of three ethnic armies operating in the north of Myanmar.

The alliance began an offensive push against the military in late October 2023, known as Operation 1027, named after the date on which the offensive started.

The alliance has been making gains against the military, taking Laukkai when the military’s regional headquarters surrendered, along with several hundred troops, according to the AFP.

Three or more

Now it appears that some of the military leaders in charge of the region are being made to pay the price for failure, although it is not exactly clear when and how many leaders have been sentenced.

Other sources such as The Diplomat cited the Chindwin News Agency, who reported at the end of January that six brigadier generals had been sentenced to death, with three more sentenced to life imprisonment.

Other local sources quoted by The Diplomat said that three generals had been sentenced to death, and two more were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Conscription fears

What is clear is that the Myanmar military government is being put under increasing strain, resorting to introducing military conscription for men between the ages of 18 and 35, and women between the ages of 18 and 27.

The Bangkok Post reports that the conscription order has sparked panic, with thousands seeking to leave the country in order to evade military service.

The Post reports that two individuals were killed after a stampede broke out in a passport office in Mandalay in Myanmar.

The Thai Embassy in Yangon has been reportedly swamped with young people seeking visas to leave the country.

Experts that Reuters spoke to describe Myanmar military forces as “fatigued and demoralised”, and facing a significant number of losses and defections.

Many units are struggling to meet manpower recommendations, with many battalions being unable to field units of more than half strength.

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Top image via @TheHublog/X