Twelve village administrators in Katha Township, Sagaing Region, have resigned after the township’s People’s Defense Force (PDF) warned them to quit by October 10.
Tensions are running high between Myanmar’s military and civilian resistance fighters in Katha.
Administrators of 12 village-tracts submitted a joint resignation letter to the township’s General Administration Department on Monday. In their letter, they said they had difficulties managing their villages because of the resignation of their subordinates and safety concerns.
Katha is made up of 10 wards and 32 village-tracts which consist of 143 villages.
“It is likely that others will resign too very soon because the PDF has issued the warning. Only those who don’t fear will remain in their posts. The PDF has warned administrators to resign by October 10. So administrators submitted resignations for fear of the risks to their lives and their families,” said an administrator in Katha who asked for anonymity for security concerns. He said he was submitting his resignation soon.
Katha PDF issued the warning to administrators on Sunday and asked community leaders and administrators who have allegedly supported the regime to leave the township.
Ward and village administrators form the backbone of the regime’s administrative mechanism and thus are targeted by resistance groups. Following the regime’s lethal crackdown on peaceful protesters, administration offices were attacked across the country and dozens of ward and village administrators were killed.
Military tensions are running high in Katha after the township PDF carried out a mine attack on junta soldiers on Oct. 1.
As Katha borders Bhamo District in Kachin State, the Katha PDF also operates in cooperation with Battalion 5 of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an ethnic armed group based in Kachin.
Katha PDF launched attacks against the regime on May 30, ambushing a junta convoy on the Katha-Bhamo road. The attack was assisted by Battalion 5.
The regime has bombed with helicopters and shelled in the town following the ambush, displacing some 25,000 residents from Moe Tar Gyi village-tract near Katha-Bhamo road.
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