DMG Newsroom
5 August 2022, Paletwa, Chin State

The Myanmar military’s Light Infantry Battalion No. 289 has blockaded both land and water routes in Chin State’s Paletwa Township, where clashes are ongoing between regime forces and the Arakan Army, according to locals.

The military blocked the Kyauktaw-Paletwa road and water routes, which are the main conduits for food supplies and business for Paletwa residents, a resident said on condition of anonymity.

“The Myanmar military closed both land and water routes,” he told DMG. “There is already a shortage of gasoline and rice in Paletwa. Locals in Paletwa mainly import vegetables, fish, rice and cooking oil from Arakan State’s Kyauktaw. All locals are in trouble due to the military’s closure of both land and water routes.”

Residents say that the land and water routes between Paletwa and Kyauktaw have been closed to traffic since August 1, reportedly for security reasons.

Locals from about 20 villages in Paletwa Township are facing livelihood hardships due to the military’s closure of both land and water routes.

A Paletwa resident said that since locals have only been transporting limited amounts of rice even before the blockade, the price of rice has risen even more due to the closure of Paletwa-Kyauktaw routes.

“Locals face livelihood hardships. A sack of Paw Hsan Hmwe rice has risen from around K60,000 in March to K75,000 currently. The prices of rice have skyrocketed after months-long restrictions on the supply of food and other goods to the town imposed by the Myanmar military regime,” he said.

Both land and water routes between Paletwa and Kyauktaw have been cut off by the military for five days. Paletwa residents are worried that if they are closed for a long time, their livelihoods will be negatively affected.

Paletwa residents who have been in Kyauktaw for medical treatment and purchasing commodities since before the roads were closed are currently unable to return to their homes.

“I went to Sittwe to see a doctor. I had no more money when I came back from Sittwe after seeing the doctor. I am now stranded in Kyauktaw because the military blocks both land and water routes between Kyaukaw and Paletwa,” said a resident of Paletwa.

DMG has made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to contact Chin State Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Han Win Aung for comment regarding the military’s blockade of land and water routes between Paletwa and Kyauktaw.

Military tensions have been running high in Paletwa Township, with Myanmar regime forces and the Arakan Army reportedly engaged in intermittent clashes for three consecutive days this week.

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