Burma Army Launches Airstrike Against AA in Rathedaung

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) engaged in intensifying clashes in the Kyauktan area of Rathedaung Township in Rakhine State on Friday.

Khin Saw Wai, a parliamentarian for Rathedaung Township, said that the Burmese military launched an airstrike on the AA in the area on September 4.

“We know that there were intensifying clashes in the Kyauktan area in this morning,” she told NMG on Friday. “Villagers reported to me that the Burma Army used combat helicopters to attack the AA. Clashes occurred on Amyet Mountain in the Kyauktan area.”

The fighting followed a September 1 declaration by the Brotherhood Alliance—made up of the AA, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)—to extend an existing unilateral ceasefire until November 9, after Burma’s general election on November 8.

“We already announced our unilateral ceasefire, but intensifying clashes have occurred in the AA area,” TNLA spokesperson Maj Mai Aik Kyaw told NMG. “The Burma Army also announced a unilateral ceasefire, except in Rakhine State. Then the Burma Army launched strong attacks on the AA. They are putting military pressure on the AA. They are trying to solve problems through military means. That’s why a series of clashes has occurred in Rakhine State,” he explained.

The Brotherhood Alliance has recommended that the Burma Army halt military offensives in ethnic regions in order to reduce clashes with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs).

“They need to reduce their military operations—they need to stop their operations. They already announced a unilateral ceasefire. In practice, they need to stop military operations on the ground,” Maj Mai Aik Kyaw said.

Parliamentarian Khin Saw Wai said the ceasefire declarations from both EAOs and the Burma Army have not stopped fighting.

“In practice, clashes are intensifying on the ground,” she told NMG. “[The AA’s] Maj-Gen Tun Myat Naing told media outlets they have accepted the holding of elections in Rakhine State. […] If all stakeholders can negotiate, I think, we will have good results.”

The previous unilateral ceasefire ended on August 31.

The Brotherhood Alliance have held talks with the government and military regarding a possible bilateral ceasefire agreement.