Damaged Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road Forces Vehicles onto Old Route, Facing Military Council’s Exorbitant Charges

The Military Council is imposing high road usage fees and intensively questioning trucks using the old route due to landslides from torrential rains damaging sections of the Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road, as witnessed by motorists.

August 7th saw a segment of the Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road, part of the Asian Highway network, suffer a collapse near the Taw Naw waterfall, due to erosion triggered by the abrupt mountain runoff.

Amidst the impairment of the Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road, trucks and vehicles are compelled to resort to the old route, resulting in challenges exacerbated by the Military Council’s steep toll charges.

“On the old road, the Military Council soldiers are a big hassle and demand a lot of money. Even my small car had to pay a total of 60,000 kyat for using the road. In the mountain areas, the Karen armed forces and People’s Defense Force (PDF) members inspect cars but don’t ask for money”, a driver told KIC.

Civilians who depend on the old road are also concerned about the possibility of arbitrary exactions by the Military Council, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)’s White Tiger Column commander Bo Kyaw Thet said.

“Our troops are present along the old road, but there’s no need for innocent civilians to be anxious. Our personnel will conduct minor checks. The main worry is the Military Council’s potential indiscriminate artillery fire”, he explained.

KNLA-led resistance coalition launched an ambush against the Military Council during their assessment of the road damage on Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road, leading to clashes. Following this, the Military Council initiated operations in the vicinity, relentlessly deploying artillery fire, resulting in the evacuation of nearly all Ywathit village residents.

On August 10th, newspapers under the control of the Military Council announced that a makeshift bridge would be erected, and repairs would be finalized within a month.

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