Tatmadaw: State Counsellor, President’s Office Gave Order to Attack AA

The military’s True News Information Team described the Arakan Army as ‘just an insurgent group.’


Saturday, January 19, 2019

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave instructions for the military to carry out a “strong and effective attack” on the Arakan Army (AA), the Tatmadaw True News Information Team said.

The announcement came at a press conference held at a military history museum on Friday.

“The AA is just an insurgent group. Therefore, the State Counsellor gave instructions for a strong and effective attack on the AA,” Maj-Gen Tun Tun Nyi, vice chairman of the military’s information team, said.

The major general added that the directive came on January 7, after the AA attacked four police stations in Rakhine State’s Buthidaung Township on January 4, killing 13 police officers.

The Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team also said that the President’s Office had given instructions for the Burma Army and the police to cooperate in the operation, and to use helicopter gunships to attack the AA.

It was also said by the military team that security forces were attacking AA because they had in 2017 attacked the so-called Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in northern Rakhine State. The latter offensive displaced hundreds of thousands of people and spurred the UN Fact Finding Mission on Burma to recommend that the Burmese armed forces be investigated for the genocide of the Rohingya.

The military added that the AA’s demands deviate from the government and Burma Army’s political path.

The Tatmadaw and the AA engaged in 26 clashes in 2016, 56 clashes in 2017, and 61 clashes in 2018. There were eight clashes in the first three days of 2019, in Buthidaung, Rathaedaung, Ponnagyun and Kyauktaw townships.

Volunteer groups have said that nearly 6,000 people are displaced in Rakhine State due to the clashes and are in need of emergency assistance.