A People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighting the Burmese regime in Pinlebu Township, Sagaing Region, is assembling a civilian administration in its area of control.
The spokesperson for the Pinlebu PDF told KNG that the People’s Administration Committee will oversee the security and health affairs of civilians living in its area. The civilian resistance group, formed a few months after the military’s coup almost a year ago, has appointed a headman to train the headmen of the seven villages it controls, who will form the committee.
According to the spokesperson, the regime only controls Pinlebu town and five miles around it, while the PDF controls the rest of the township.
“Yesterday we started providing health services in our villages for the first time. The NUG (National Unity Government) provided the medicine. We explained to villagers why we have to bear arms and told them not to be afraid of us because we’re trying to protect them from the Burma Army (BA),” he said.
The PDF has already taken action against what it considers illegal logging and gold mining in its area. Anyone who wants to cut timber and mine gold in the township will have to pay NUG taxes. The interim government was formed by lawmakers ousted during the coup, as well as civilian resistance groups, ethnic armies and civil groups opposed to the dictatorship.
In late September, the PDF and the Kachin Independence Army killed many BA soldiers in the township, after which the regime retaliated with airstrikes, displacing thousands of civilians.
The PDF spokesperson said they are being taken care of and have set up a camp for them, but they still need more food and medicine.
The junta cut connectivity in 10 townships in Sagaing Region, including Pinlebu. Residents told KNG that they can sometimes connect to MyTel, which is owned by the military but not to MPT or to Telenor.