The junta has flown airstrikes twice in the past week on the Chin National Front’s (CNF) headquarters in Camp Victoria, killing some of the Chin soldiers. Khonumthung News reached out to the CNF spokesperson Salai Htet Ni for his comment on the attacks in northern Chin State.
Can you tell us about the attack by the regime’s jet fighters on Camp Victoria?
Fighter jets attacked our headquarters for two days. During the first airstrike, 10 January, five fighter jets attacked at around 4pm, with one shell landing on the Indian side of the border. Five CNF soldiers, including two women, were killed in the airstrike. On the second airstrike, 11 January, three fighter jets flew over our headquarters, but only two attacked it. A clinic and a medical supply depot were damaged in the airstrike. No one was wounded in the second airstrike. During both attacks, eight fighter jets dropped a total of nine shells on our headquarters.
Why did the military regime bomb the CNF headquarters?
They want to hold a general election this year after they have pacified the region. That is why they’re attacking all of the resistance groups that can interfere with polling. There are probably many reasons, but one of the main reasons (they attacked Camp Victoria) is that we have trained local defence forces to fight the military.
How will the CNF react to the airstrikes?
Whether it’s a ground attack or an air attack, we’ll respond with the weapons at our disposal. We don’t need to fear airstrikes. From a military point of view, there are many ways to respond. We’re committed to fighting against the military dictatorship and building a federal democratic union. We’ll continue cooperating with other ‘brotherhood’ organisations, local defence forces and the National Unity Government fighting against the military junta until the very end.
The Indian government hasn’t commented on the shell that landed in its borders. So what’s the relationship between the military junta and India?
It’s true that a shell landed on Indian soil. Eight Indian soldiers examined it the next day to confirm this. I don’t know how the central government in India will react to this. I think it has had good relations with both the democratic government (National League for Democracy) and the military regime. They have developed a common policy cooperating in the fight against ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) along the Indian and Burmese border areas, which they call insurgent groups. Another disturbing fact is that the Indian government has supplied arms to the military junta. They know very well about the EAOs and the Spring Revolution in our country, yet they have continued to collaborate with the junta. It’s very sad that a democratic government is working with a military regime.
Do you have anything to add?
The military has carried out air strikes on civilians. The junta has committed war crimes. People are very angry with the regime for targeting civilians, but it keeps happening. People want to see the end of the military dictatorship in this country. Whatever the military junta does, the people won’t retreat, they’ll continue to fight against the dictatorship. We’ll continue to unite with the people to fight against the regime and build a federal democratic union.