It is reported that Pao Militia (PNO) is forcibly recruiting new soldiers from local residents in Hopon Township in Southern Shan State under the pretext of security. A reliable source said that in at least 5 villages in Hopon Township, Pao Autonomous Region, Special Region 6, men between the ages of 16 and 40 are being forcibly recruited as militia.

“Yesterday (January 28th), the villagers of Pao villages were called. The military council army surrendered their weapons in order to secure the safety of the native brothers together with the people of Pao. In fact, they added manpower to the PNO,” he said. When asked about this, a local resident in Ho Pao Township said that the Military Council forces were behind the scenes and the Pao Militia (PNO) was leading and equipping them with weapons.

“Hopon asked the villagers of Pao village to draw lots. The winner had to start serving as a PNO militia. They gave me a revolver, 4 boxes of ammunition and a uniform,” he said. A reliable source said that those who won the vote will be asked to keep night vigils in Pao villages.

“It’s not a one-time front-line release. Those who won the vote were told to keep watch at night and follow the orders of the PNO during the day,” he said. At present, Pao Militia (PNO) has received more than 100 recruits, and the respective villages must provide food and salary for these recruits.

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