Taw Oo District Situation Update: SAC military activities, SAC attacks on CDM participants, travel restrictions, and livelihood, healthcare and education challenges, December 2021 to February 2022 – Myanmar

This Situation Update describes events that occurred in Htaw Ta’Htoo (Htantabin) Township, Taw Oo (Toungoo) District during the period between December 2021 and February 2022, and includes State Administration Council (SAC) military activities, SAC attacks on Civil Disobedience ( CDM) participants, travel restrictions, and livelihood, healthcare and education challenges. SAC soldiers continued their activities, including patrolling, questioning people whom they encountered, beating and arresting people, and conducting reconnaissance by air. People who participated in the CDM faced challenges as the SAC destroyed their property. The SAC increased their checkpoints, seized motorcycles, arrested people, and required approval to travel. Political instability and travel restrictions also made it difficult for villagers to find work and thus created livelihood restrictions for the villagers. There have also been many challenges in the healthcare sector since the military coup, and the presence of SAC soldiers in public hospital compounds made villagers afraid to go for treatment and medical care. Some schools have reopened but only some students returned to school. Students who take online classes faced problems because the price of internet services has increased.

SAC military activities

On December 20th 2021, after State Administration Council (SAC) soldiers entered into Lay Lon Pin area, Htaw Ta’Htoo (Htantabin) Township, Taw Oo (Toungoo) District where Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Battalion #6 active, seven SAC died after stepping on a landmine planted by KNLA soldiers. The KNLA soldiers also confiscated some of the weapons from the SAC [the context is unclear]. Some SAC soldiers entered the villages, but were not wearing their military uniforms while they were patrolling and therefore villagers mistook them for the People’s Defense Force (PDF).

Some [uniformed] SAC soldiers were also patrolling at the intersection of Kyi Daw and Aung Myin Yan during the night and if they saw anyone, they would ask them questions and would even beat up people who went out at night after 8:00 or 9:00 pm. SAC soldiers have also mistaken some of the villagers for PDF members. On January 16th 2022 [and possibly a second date]guns were fired at midnight in Kyi Daw village, Kyi Daw village tract[5], Htaw Ta’Htoo Township. In hearing the sound of gunfire, local villagers were not sure whether it came from SAC soldiers or from the PDF.

When staff from Electric Power Corporation (EPC) came to collect [villagers’] electricity bill payments in January 2022 [exact date unknown], SAC soldiers came with them. The local villagers were afraid when they saw the soldiers. When they [EPC] came to collect the electricity bill payments in Nat Ywa village, Per Htee village, Htaw Ta’Htoo Township they only went to a few houses and left tractly because they were also worried that they would be harassed by the PDF [in order to scare them, some villagers had told them that PDF members might come to attack them if they came to the village].

SAC soldiers sometimes came to check the guest list in some of the Burmese [Bamar] villages as well, and if they saw anyone who seemed strange and unfamiliar to them, they would take him/her with them [arrest the person]. SAC military jets also started to come [fly over] and the local villagers always had to stay alert. Since fighting also took place in Kayah State, the local people from there came to seek refuge in several places in Htaw Ta’Htoo Township, Taw Oo District.

SAC soldiers have been checking motorcycle licenses at Htantabin Bridge and, on February 17th 2022, arrested one villager from Lay Ti village, Per Htee village tract, Htaw Ta’Htoo Township and one Bamar man [his village is unknown]. They [SAC] had never checked motorcycle licenses at this place before. After arresting these two people, they stopped checking other people who were traveling on that day because they said that they were only required to seize two motorcycles per day. The two people arrested were locked up in the detention center and were not given any food to eat. They were arrested at around 9:00 am and were released at 9:00 pm that same day.

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