Rakhine State Conflict Halts Critical Aid

Rakhine State Conflict Halts Critical Aid

Families living in 12 villages of Maungdaw Township are trapped and are requesting emergency aid. Clashes between the Arakan Army and the Burma Army have intensified across northern Rakhine State in recent days. 

Abbot Thu Dathana of Aung Tha Pyay monastery said that the communities have faced food shortages since Aug. 26, as fierce fighting between the AA and junta troops cut off vital supplies from reaching the area. “Phone lines and internet connections have been cut,” Abbot Thu Dathana told DVB.

Aung Tha Pyay village has 149 houses. Families living there are unable to travel to Maungdaw town for supplies as roadblocks set up by the Burma Army have prevented them from leaving their homes, a local woman told DVB. “We can’t cross the area where the [Burma] army is deployed. They force us to go back every time we try to go to Maungdaw town,” she said.

Mrauk-U explosion

The ancient temples of Mrauk-U

An explosion rocked Mrauk-U town on Sept. 6, according to locals. The Burma Army deployed its troops near the site of the blast and set up a checkpoint, a local source said. 

“I don’t know exactly [whether] it was a landmine or a bomb. The place where the explosion [happened] is in the downtown area, so the security forces are checking the passersby,” he told DVB. Following the explosion, the shop and stalls in the downtown area closed down. A bomb squad was deployed.

The Arakan Army (AA) announced that it has documented several incidents of the Burma Army firing on Mrauk-U’s world heritage sites and pagodas. It urged the international community to monitor the junta’s actions in Rakhine State.  

Intense fighting between the AA and the Burma Army is taking place at Paletwa township of Chin State, and Maungdaw township of Rakhine State. The clashes have now spread to Rathedaung, Mrauk-U, Toungup and other townships. 

UNOCHA stated nearly 9,700 people have fled their homes due to the renewed fighting in Rakhine and Chin states that reignited last July. The Burma Army has blocked the roads and waterways to prevent people from leaving their homes and to halt humanitarian aid from reaching those in need.