FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
The Arakan Army (AA) claims it attacked and seized two military trucks, a police station, and a guard post near the Bangladesh border in Rathedaung and Minbya townships on Nov. 13. Two military officers and an unknown number of soldiers were taken prisoner. The military has blockaded main transportation arteries into Arakan State, the Sittwe-Yangon highway and the Maungdaw-Angumaw road.
“With several attacks by the Arakan Army in Rakhine State today, the resumption of full-blown conflict in the state is more likely. If combat persists, it will open a significant new front for the regime, which is already overstretched,” said Richard Horsey, Senior Myanmar Adviser at the International Crisis Group.
Twenty-six police officers from Apaukwa police station in Kyauktaw Township surrendered to the AA after being warned that it would attack. All of the officers and their families have been relocated to safe areas, the AA stated.
“Regime forces have considerable experience fighting the Arakan Army in Rakhine and have reportedly already shut down travel across the state. But facing major difficulties in northern Shan State alongside attacks from anti-regime forces probing for military weaknesses elsewhere, it will be hard for the regime to focus their efforts across all fronts,” added Horsey.
The Brotherhood Alliance – which consists of the AA, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) – has seized over 150 military outposts in northern Shan State since Oct. 27.
The AA have reportedly been fighting alongside the People’s Defense Force (PDF) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA/KIO) in Sagaing Region since Operation 1027 began. Coordinated attacks have also been reported in Karenni and Karen states.
The AA and the military agreed to an informal humanitarian ceasefire on Nov. 26, 2022 following several weeks of clashes. Its November 2020 ceasefire collapsed two months later with the 2021 military coup. The AA, along with the Brotherhood Alliance, vowed to eliminate military dictatorship in Myanmar.