Thursday, May 23, 2024

At least 16 young men have disappeared in the past month. Armed groups in Myanmar have been taking men to police stations in different cities like Yangon, under the cover of darkness. Families of the missing men believe that some were released after a ransom was paid, while others were forced to join the military due to non-payment. There are also cases where men just went missing without any explanations or reason.

The abductions began after the military took control of the country in February 2021. However, the number of cases has increased significantly in the recent weeks due to increased military action in the country.

The situation has caused fear and panic among communities. Families are warning their male members to stay home, and parents are taking their sons out of school. According to reports, family members are afraid to approach the police with complaints and reports because they believe the military is responsible for the kidnappings.

The military denies any involvement in the abductions, but the people remain suspicious since the military has historically relied on forced labor for various tasks.

This issue is growing as the military continues to struggle with recruitment and has even resorted to conscripting retired army personnel and their family members to join ongoing armed conflicts. This practice has even resulted in abduction and forced recruitment of civilians into the military. Reports reveal that accounts of missing men have significantly risen since the start of Operation 1027, an offensive launched on Oct. 27 by ethnic armies.

These incidents are causing great distress in communities, and people are left feeling helpless and fearful about the safety of their loved ones. Some are not attending school or public places, while others are being coerced to pay ransoms for the safe release of their family members.

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