Curfew orders and military checkpoints make life difficult for local people in Myitkyina and Hpakant towns

Since 23 January, the Burma Army has imposed curfew orders in some Townships of Kachin State, including Myitkyina Township. The curfew orders restricted people from being on the street between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Following the imposition of curfew orders, the Burma Army has tightened security in Myitkyina and Hpakant towns. Soldiers have set-up military checkpoints on streets around the towns, and regularly stop and inspected travelers. Local people complain that these checkpoints causing difficulties for people trying to travel in the area.

Burma Army soldiers have been inspecting travelers on the street in Rampu, Khay Mar Thiri, Yuzana, and Myo Thit Gyi wards in Myitkyina town. The soldiers have built many traffic-slowing barriers on different streets in these wards.

A male Myitkyina resident (source 1) said that Burma Army soldiers have been manning security posts on the streets in recent days. Soldiers with full military equipment have been stopping and inspecting travelers on streets around the town.

“Sometimes we are so angry with these soldiers. Sometimes we are going out for urgent matters but these soldiers are stopping and delaying us for so long. Having these soldiers in the streets is causing problems for us. They even inspect vendors on the street. It’s really bad,” the Myitkyina resident (source 1) told KNG.

The Myitkyina resident (source 1) said that Burma Army soldiers sometimes conduct nighttime family registration document inspections at civilian homes. Burma Army soldiers have arrested civilians only on suspicion without any evidence.

“Soldiers inspected my neighbor’s house around 1 a.m. The soldiers arrested a couple from the house saying they are suspected of being connected to an unlawful association. The next morning, the soldiers released the couple,” the local resident (source 1) told KNG.

The situation is similar in Hpakant town. Local people report that the Burma Army has tightened security around Hpakant town, and soldiers inspect travelers on the street. The Burma Army frequently fires artillery in Hpakant town.

“The Burma Army has tightened security in Hpakant. Soldiers often make surprise checks on the street. Soldiers have shot people dead when they refused to accept the inspection of soldiers at military checkpoints at nighttime. They are so brutal. It’s really difficult to travel in Hpakant because of the tightened security. Soldiers often arrest people at checkpoints in Hpakant,” a male Hpakant resident (source 2), told KNG.

On 22 January, Burma Army soldiers shot dead two young men in Lon Khin ward of Hpakant town. Civilian resistance groups reported that the Burma Army has arrested more than 80 civilians in Hpakant Township without any reason.

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