Military influx in Maungdaw

Military influx in Maungdaw

Locals in Rakhine are concerned about potential clashes erupting due to the Burma Army building up troops in the villages of southern Maungdaw Township on the night of Aug. 7. 

“Around 100 military personnel in three military trucks were dropped off near Kin Chaung village. Later, the troops divided into two and marched to the north and south of the village,” a local source told DVB. 

The military deployed troops in Kin Chaung, Shwe Baho, Thari Kon Baung, Kaing Gyi, Mawrawaddy, and U Daung – villages in southern Maungdaw Township – on the night of Aug. 7. According to local sources, 19 military trucks carrying soldiers arrived at the Angumaw port in a vessel on that night. 

Due to the massive military buildup in southern Maungdaw, locals expressed concerns that fighting could break out similarly to the northern part of the township.

“There is now a larger military presence in Mawrawaddy village. They [soldiers] also shot down civilian drones as they are worried that clashes could break out,” a local source said.   

The junta has transported soldiers, food, weapons and fuel in 17 military vehicles to Buthidaung through Angumaw port since May 17. Eight military trucks were sent on July 28, and another 18 were also delivered on July 29. 

Five people, including three village administrators and two civilians from northern Maungdaw Township, were arrested by the military and still have not been allowed to meet with relatives since Aug. 8, according to their families. 

The five were charged under Sec. 302, 307, 326 and 114 of the Penal Code and received two remands from the Maungdaw Township court. 

“We are not allowed to meet with them. They [military] said they were healthy when we called, but we are not able to talk with them over the phone,” the wife of an arrested administrator Bhone Kan Naing told DVB. 

The individuals were arrested on suspicion of having ties with the AA after clashes between the AA and the military occurred in northern Maungdaw Township on July 18. 

“The fighting was 10 miles from our village. It is not acceptable that they arrested people with no connection to the fighting. They could have attacked the AA’s camps if they wanted to,” another family member told DVB.

The five are being detained at the base of Battalion 7 of the Border Guard Police near Kyain Chaung village.