Fighting Breaks Out in Rakhine State as AA Seizes SAC Camp

By Network Media Group
Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Fighting erupted between Arakan Army (AA) and troops from State Administration Council (SAC), breaking an informal ceasefire agreement in Rakhine State. The conflict, which had seen some fighting resume between the groups last year, has resumed as AA reportedly seized several SAC outposts in Rathedaung and Minbya townships on Monday morning.

A local source, speaking anonymously due to security concerns, reported intense fighting near Done Pike and Chein Khar Li on the Ah Ngu Maw – Maungdaw road near Mayu Mountain in Rathedaung Township at 4 am. The clashes continued throughout the afternoon, with SAC shelling the area from its base in Rathedaung. The source mentioned unconfirmed reports of AA seizing a Border Guard Force police camp in the vicinity. As a result of the conflict, residents from seven villages, including Chein Khar Li, Done Pike, and Koe Tan Kauk, fled the area, seeking shelter in safer locations.

AA also reportedly attacked military vehicles near Phar Pyo in Minbya Township, which were dispatched from SAC’s No. 9 Advanced Military Training School. In the course of the fighting, a shell struck a village in Minbya Township, injuring a civilian, although specific details about the person’s medical condition were not provided.

Another source noted that SAC troops had blocked all roads to and from the capital town, Sittwe, in Rakhine State. The closure of roads has raised concerns among locals, who are stockpiling food and digging bunkers near their homes. Daily wage laborers, in particular, are vulnerable during this time.

Efforts to obtain comments from Khine Thukha, the spokesperson for AA’s political wing (United League of Arakan), and Col Kyaw Thura, Rakhine State Border Affairs and Security minister, were unsuccessful at the time of press.

AA and fellow members of Three Brotherhood’s Alliance has seize over 100 SAC bases and several towns since launching its 1027 Operation in northern Shan State on October 27. The offensive involving Kachin Independence Army, many People Defence Forces and other resistance groups has spread to Kachin State, Mandalay, Sagaing—and now Rakhine State. In Karenni and southern Shan states, resistance forces have recently launched their own offensive operations to rid their areas of SAC troops.