New EBO Background Paper – The Arakan Army’s involvement in Rakhine State

My latest paper on the Kachin based Arakan Army in available here.

On 29 March 2015, fighting broke out between the Arakan Army’s (AA) Tactical Unit No. 5 and Myanmar Army Infantry Battalion No. 289 in one of the first major attacks for the AA outside of Kachin State where they are largely based. The attack, on the ethnic Chin village of Pyin So, Paletwa Township, Chin State, forced hundreds of villagers to flee. According to one villager, speaking to the Chin Human Rights Organisation, the fighting had occurred because Government soldiers stationed in the village had captured an Arakan Army soldier, three days before the clash.

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Nyo Tun Aung, AA deputy commander-in-chief, said in a Narinjara interview that two bodies – a captain and a private, both from the Burma Army – were recovered, and that they arrested two Myanmar Army soldiers. In addition, the AA seized a 45mm pistol, two MA-1 machine guns, one MA-3 machine gun, several bullets, and military equipment. He also noted that because the government has been increasing the number of Burma Army soldiers in the area there is likely to be further fighting.

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