We're Live Bangla Monday, March 27, 2023

Fighting in a Rakhine township forces 3,000 people to flee their homes


Fierce fighting raged between Tatmadaw (government troops) and Arakan Army (AA) forces from July 20 to July 23 in the evening in Minbya Township, Rakhine State driving nearly 3,000 people in this area to flee their homes.

Local resident from Minbya, Nyi Nyi Aung, said that the local people from Pha Pyo village (ethnic Rakhine residents), Pha Pyo village (ethnic Chin residents), May Lwan village, Kan Ni village and Taung Poke Kay village had to flee from their homes in this conflict zone.

“Fighting took place near the mountain range in the east of Minbya town. They fought elsewhere in that area say Kan Ni village, Pha Pyo (Rakhine) and Pha Pyo (Chin village). Most of the people in this conflict zone had to flee from their homes, approximately over 3,000 people,” Nyi Nyi Aung said.

These people had to take refuge in the homes of their relatives and some took refuge in wards in Minbya town, he added.

On July 21, Tatmadaw (Defence Services) issued a press statement which says that a military convoy coming to Kan Ni from Minbya on Yangon-Sittway highway in which trainee officers and soldiers were travelling was ambushed at the place near Taung Poke Kay village between Ramaung Bridge and Kan Ni village by the AA.

After this ambush, fighting broke out between the Tatmadaw and AA.

Local people said that express buses, passenger vehicles and cargo trucks were trapped in this conflict zone near Ramuang Bridge from July 21 to July 22 in the afternoon.

House of Representatives (lower house) MP from Minbya constituency Hla Thein Aung said, “The Tatmadaw convoy was ambushed on Monday at the place near Pha Pyo village by remote controlled IED devices and then again on Tuesday afternoon and yesterday. The naval boats fired artillery shells on AA positions yesterday evening. The local villagers have not yet called me and said anything about this fighting.”

A local woman from Pha Pyo was injured in the fighting in Minbya but she was out of danger now and her condition was stable, MP Hla Thein Aung added.

Tatmadaw and AA have been in fighting in Rakhine State since December 2018 and typically local people have to flee from their homes to take refuge.

Rakhine Ethnic Congress (REC), a CSO, estimated that there are about 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have fled their homes in the conflict zone in northern Rakhine State.

The northern alliance consisting of three ethnic armed groups namely Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Arakan Army (AA) issued a press statement on July 21 which demanded resumption of stalled political dialogue between them and the government.