Myanmar junta boss Min Aung Hlaing on Sunday visited Sagaing Region, the hotbed of resistance to the military regime in central Myanmar, where he met junta personnel in Monywa serving under the Myanmar military’s Northwestern Command.
The regime chief called for unity within the military, and gave long lectures about how soldiers should fully utilize the military training they have been given.
In February, the military regime declared martial law in 14 townships in Sagaing, placing them under the direct control of Northwestern Command.
Since the imposition of martial law, the junta has stepped up its terror campaign in Sagaing, perpetrating more massacres and arson attacks targeting both resistance fighters and civilians. Observers say Min Aung Hlaing went to Sagaing to give detailed guidance about the ongoing military operation.
Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to Northwestern Command was his first since the imposition of martial law in Sagaing Region. The command has a huge part to play for the regime, as five townships in Magwe Region and seven in Chin State are also under martial law.
Resistance to the regime is also strong in Magwe and Chin, meaning Northwestern Command has to deal with resistance attacks in 26 townships under martial law. The junta has recently launched fresh assaults in both Magwe and Chin.
Last week, deputy junta chief Soe Win visited another anti-regime hotbed, Kayah State, and instructed junta troops based there to fully utilize their weapons. The regime has sent around 2,000 reinforcements into Kayah, according to local resistance forces.
Yet over two years after the coup, the regime is still far from controlling Myanmar. At a meeting of the National Defense and Security Council last month, Min Aung Hlaing admitted that half of the country is unstable. Only 198 of Myanmar’s 330 townships have 100 per cent stability, and security needs to be beefed up in the rest, said the junta boss.
A March 4 statement from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that around 750,000 civilians have been displaced by armed conflict in Sagaing Region since the 2021 military takeover.