Defeated Myanmar Junta Generals given death sentences

Published : 24 Jan 2024 08:48 PM

Myanmar’s regime has handed death sentences to three brigadier generals who surrendered to the Brotherhood Alliance at Laukkai in northern Shan State. The other three brigadier generals have been jailed for life, according to junta sources.

On January 4, almost 2,400 regime troops, including more than 200 officers surrendered to the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in Kokang on the Chinese border.

The MNDAA sent the soldiers and around 1,600 relatives back to the regime.

Brigadier General Moe Kyaw Thu, the Laukkai headquarters chief, Brigadier General Tun Tun Myint, the acting chief of Kokang Self-Administered Zone, and Brigadier General Zaw Myo Win, the Division 55 commander, were given death sentences, according to junta sources.

The three are reportedly being held at Insein Prison in Yangon.

Brigadier General Aye Min Oo, Brigadier General Thaw Zin Oo and Brigadier General Aung Zaw Lin, the chiefs of Operation Centers 14, 16 and 12 respectively, were reportedly jailed for life.

All six generals were charged under military law for “shamefully abandoning” their positions.

Former army captain Kaung Thu Win, who joined the civil disobedience movement after the coup, told The Irrawaddy: “The military used to impose death penalties on soldiers who abandoned their posts.

“Junta boss Min Aung Hlaing will have no patience for generals who surrendered bases, especially large command headquarters.”

He said the harsh penalties were intended to deter other commanders from surrendering their strongholds.

Following the Laukkai defeat, Min Aung Hlaing faced calls to resign from among his supporters.

Many junta cheerleaders blamed Min Aung Hlaing’s incompetence, selfishness and lack of backbone, accusing him of guiding a military once considered invincible into a state of inconsolable shame and desperation.

Laukkai was the largest defeat for the junta since the 2021 coup.

At the time junta spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun told the pro-regime Popular News Journal that the priorities were the safety of regime personnel and their families and relations with China.

The Brotherhood Alliance, which also includes the Arakan Army and Ta’ang National Liberation Army, launched Operation 1027 across northern Shan State on October 27 last year.

The alliance has seized over 500 junta bases, including several headquarters, about 17 towns and vital trade routes with China across northern Shan State.