Junta-appointed administrators in Magway defect to resistance

More than 30 local administrators in Magway Region’s Pauk Township have informed resistance forces in the area that they will no longer cooperate with the regime that appointed them.

The administrators, from two villages located some 30km north of the town of Pauk, pledged to side with the anti-junta forces and stop persecuting regime opponents, according to the Pakokku Revolutionary Front (PRF), a local armed group.

A PRF spokesperson told Myanmar Now on Friday that a total of 32 village and ward administrators from the villages of Sa Phe and Kyundaw had defected. 

“They had ties to the junta and had informed on some villagers in the past, but they said they have since come to the realization that they would never win, because we keep getting stronger,” the PRF spokesperson said.

“That’s why they’ve signed a pledge stating that they have left the regime and joined our side. They vowed not to contact the junta again or terrorise local civilians,” he added.

The 17 administrators from Kyundaw and 15 from Sa Phe said they made the move because they wanted to live in their villages in peace.

Most of the inhabitants of the two villages, which have around 200 households each, are supporters of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, the PRF information officer said.

When protests against last year’s coup were at their peak, the village administrators held celebrations to counter anti-regime sentiment, he added. They also had villagers opposed to the junta arrested.

“We didn’t ask for much. We just told them we’d give them a clean slate if they abandoned the regime for good and stopped terrorising villagers,” he said.

“On the other hand, if they fail to keep their end of the deal, they will be eliminated, as we have warned them,” he added.

Photos seen by Myanmar Now showed the written pledges signed by the administrators, 10 of whom were women.

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