- Web Master
- September 27, 2023
The United League of Arakan /Arakan Army (ULA/AA) asserts that its members always monitor various actions by the military council while using the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) terror group in Buthidaung and Maungdaw areas of Rakhine State.
"As far as we are concerned, I would like to inform that we always keep a watchful eye on the situation of Buthidaung and Maungdaw areas and all kinds of activities by the junta forces and ARSA rebels," said U Khaing Thukha, the spokesman of ULA/AA.
The ARSA rebels used to infiltrate different refugee camps in Bangladesh, but the government in Dhaka has started arresting them. Finding difficulties to stay inside Bangladesh, many ARSA rebels have lately infiltrated into Buthidaung and Maungdaw areas, revealed by political observers and local residents.
More interestingly, ARSA rebels also lived in absent junta camps after being occupied by the AA members during the resurgent battles. The ARSA is extorting money from local Muslims after threatening and even abducting Muslim businessmen. On some occasions they have even challenged AA members.
Various political analysts argue that the junta authorities are using the ARSA rebels for political gains.
A Maungdaw resident, who is close to the military personnel, alleged that the junta helped the ARSA with weapons and even allowed them to travel in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships.
"We could see a number of strangers in both the localities. They give money to the soldiers at the Kyin Chaung village checkpoint. We have seen that the Burma army personnel are using those Muslims for the political mileage of the junta,” he added.
The military council is able to use the ARSA to create communal conflict under its ‘divide and rule’ policy. The locals are afraid of erupting conflicts between Rakhine and Muslim communities living in the region with the religious polarization.
Veteran Arakanese politician U Pe Than stated that both Rakhine and Muslim communities should be careful so that they are not being exploited by the military council.
"We the Rakhine and Muslim people must be careful. As Muslims, we should live in the spirit of being together in our Arakan land with equal rights. Muslims should avoid participating in the activities of ARSA. Muslims and Rakhine people should live with the spirit of patriotism and love for each other. Let's not being used by the military council. We need to be watchful," he added.
Narinjara News contacted the Rakhine State security and border affairs minister colonel Kyaw Thura, but he did not respond.
In 2016 and 2017, the ARSA rebels attacked many border police stations and military bases in Maungdaw township that caused heavy casualties to the Burmese forces. Soon the army launched a massive clearance operation on the terrorists in the affected areas. Over 700,000 Muslims from Maungdaw and Buthidaung localities had to flee to Bangladesh.
As the military council fails to fight against AA in Rakhine battlefields and it seemingly tries to nurture a friendship with the ARSA terrorists. These rebels do not enjoy comfortable relationship with the AA and hence the military authorities want to exploit the situation in their favour.