Full civilian rule restored in first large town seized by Myanmar Resistance: NUG

The first district-level town captured by Myanmar resistance forces began operating under a full-strength civilian administration on Sunday, according to the parallel National Unity Government (NUG), reports The Irrawaddy.

Kawlin in Sagaing Region is under full civilian control, less than a month after the People’s Defense Force (PDF) and armed ethnic allies seized the township on Nov. 4 following four days of fighting with junta troops.

The township administration is being run by 1,180 civil servants who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement in Kawlin and other townships, the NUG said.

Civil servants have begun coordinating with People’s Administration Teams at the ward and district levels to strengthen management and administrative chains at each level in Kawlin, it added.

The task of protecting the township’s residents from junta attacks has been handed to local PDF groups, the People’s Security Force and People’s Police Force.

People’s administration teams and the PDF are also operating an early warning system and managing bomb shelters to protect civilians from strikes by junta artillery and warplanes, the NUG said.

A civilian judiciary would now be established by appointing qualified judges and setting up courts.

Of the total 98 detainees in junta detention at Kawlin police station, 63 who were arbitrarily arrested have been released while the remainder will be processed as per the law.

Emergency medical services are being provided by the township health team, comprising 65 volunteer nurses, doctors and basic health workers. The township health service also covers displaced civilians while support is in place for those who wish to return to Kawlin.

The township currently houses 12,610 displaced people, who are being fed with food supplied and distributed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Management, the NUG statement said.

Regarding education, teaching materials have been organised and the NUG’s Ministry of Education is planning to open both online and on-ground schools as soon as possible to minimise disruption for students.

Kawlin residents can be seen walking freely about the town in video released by a local information group on Sunday.

“Residents are returning to the town. The markets are also reopening,” a member of the Kawlin information group told the Irrawaddy.

Another resident said stores are reopening and peace had been restored in the town.

Since taking control of Kawlin, resistance forces have also seized the towns of Khampat and Kawlin in Sagaing Region.

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