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Myanmar Junta Voter Registration Sites Bombed by Resistance Forces

War Against the Junta

Junta forces in Yangon in February 2021. / The Irrawaddy

Myanmar resistance forces launched bomb attacks on voter registration sites in Mandalay on Thursday, as a final warning to people aiding the military regime’s preparations for the sham general election it plans to stage later this year.

The non-deadly bomb attacks came as the junta began forcibly collecting voter data nationwide this week.

Urban guerrilla People’s Defense Force (PDF) No More Dictatorship conducted bomb attacks on Thursday in five Mandalay venues where the junta has been compiling household registrations for its planned poll.

No More Dictatorship said that the bomb attacks were deliberately non-lethal as they were intended as a final warning to people working on the junta’s election, which will prolong the military dictatorship.

However, the PDF warned that future attacks will be potentially lethal and urged the public to stay away from regime officials.

At least two bomb attacks were reported this week in Yangon, one at the municipal office in Mingaladon Township on Tuesday and another in Tamwe Township. No casualties were reported, as the attacks were intended as warnings.

Resistance groups who claimed responsibility for the attacks said that the non-lethal bombings are a final warning to people working on the election, and said that they will take deadly action if people continue to help the junta by collecting data.

On Monday, the military regime began gathering household registrations for its planned election, a process expected to continue until the end of the month. In some areas, administrative bodies and immigration officers, the stooges of the regime, started compiling voter lists via door-to-door data collection.

The parallel National Unity Government’s (NUG) Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration warned on January 9 that it will take action under the Counter-Terrorism Law against anyone who assists or takes part in junta efforts to hold an illegitimate election.

Several ethnic armed organizations and PDF’s across the country have also announced that they won’t allow the junta, which is killing and terrorizing innocent people, torching civilian houses and committing war crimes, to hold elections in their regions. They also urged people not to participate or collaborate in the junta’s preparations for the poll.

Following those announcements, Launglon PDF and Dawei Guerilla Revolutionary Force in Tanintharyi Region launched the first attack on a team of junta-appointed administrators and Myanmar military troops collecting household data. One junta soldier was killed during the attack and resistance fighters seized an AK-47 rifle and ammunition.

On Thursday, Yesagyo PDF, along with another Magwe-based PDF, seized and burned down the regime-controlled immigration department office in Yesagyo Town in Magwe Region.

The office was attacked for extorting money from civilians and preparing for the fraudulent election.

The NUG, other revolutionary forces and democracies around the world have denounced the junta’s plan to stage an election as a sham. Both the United States and the United Nations have said that any planned election by the regime will be neither free nor fair.

In Myanmar, the proposed election is widely viewed as an attempt by the junta to tighten its grip on power following its 2021 coup.