Military Junta Administrators Quit After Armed Group’s Death Threats

By The Irrawaddy 13 January 2022

More than 50 ward and village administrators in Sagaing Township have resigned following death threats from a resistance group.

Zeyar Nyi Naung Guerillas warned military-appointed administrators in the capital of Sagaing Region to quit by Jan. 30 or face consequences, according to residents.

The group threatened to kill administrators still in post, regardless of where they hide.

A Sagaing administrator, who asked for anonymity, said: “Around 20 staff have submitted resignations to the chairman of the township administration body this month. I don’t know if their resignations were accepted. They fear for their safety.”

Most resignations come from village and village-tract administrators, the source said.

The resignations follow the murder of two village administrators, an administrator’s wife and daughter, two alleged military informers and two alleged members of Pyu Saw Htee, a militia trained and armed by the military.

A Sin Myay villager said: “Two military informants were allegedly killed by Zeyar Nyi Naung last week. Because of those killings, a Pel Ngar Sel villager, who is allegedly a military informer, went round his village with a loudspeaker saying he was neither an informant nor administrator.”

Most resignation letters to the General Administration Department apparently cited health reasons.

A Nyaung Bin Wun villager said: “It is good they resigned. Nothing is more important than life. Even the regime troops are increasingly being attacked and the administrators can’t expect protection. They are probably also being pressured by their families.”

Sagaing has 34 urban wards and 76 village tracts. By Tuesday, more than 50 ward and village administrators and lower-level, 100-house officials have resigned.

Sagaing resistance groups have stepped up attacks on junta-appointed administrators and military collaborators to break the junta’s administrative mechanism. They have also increased mine attacks on military convoys.

In response, the regime has tightened checks on roads, raided villages, torched houses and used airstrikes, displacing thousands of civilians in Sagaing, with junta troops increasingly deployed in villages.

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