AA detains junta police in Mrauk-U Township

The ethnic armed organisation, which is currently observing an informal ceasefire with the military in the state, confirmed that it detained and questioned junta police patrolling the town of Mrauk-U in northern Rakhine State

The local news outlet Development Media Group reported that around seven officers were arrested at around 3pm on Tuesday on Htanmayazin Street on the north side of Mrauk-U. 

An AA spokesperson Khaing Thukha confirmed some details about the arrests. 

“The Arakan Army has temporarily detained Myanmar police officers who were patrolling Mrauk-U today in civilian clothes using private vehicles and is questioning them,” Khaing Thukha said. The exact number of officers detained and other details have yet to be confirmed.

Despite observing an informal ceasefire with the military in Rakhine State, the AA is a member of the Brotherhood Alliance, which is currently carrying out the Operation 1027 offensive against military targets in northern Shan State. 

The Rakhine ethnic armed organisation has also fought against junta forces in Sagaing Region alongside the Kachin Independence Army and other anti-junta groups.

The current, temporary ceasefire between the AA and the Myanmar military in Rakhine State took effect in November of 2022. A previous ceasefire, which had been concluded in November of 2020, broke down in August 2022 as fighting between the two sides resumed in Rakhine State and neighbouring Paletwa Township, Chin State. 

Sasakawa Yohei, chair of the Japan-based Nippon Foundation, was involved in the negotiation of both ceasefires and said they were based on a mutual understanding between the parties and not on formal, signed agreements.

Currently, the junta is only able to maintain control in some of Rakhine State’s urban areas, whereas the AA maintains de facto control in most rural areas as well as a few cities.

At a meeting in Naypyitaw on November 2, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing alluded to a potential counterattack against the ethnic armed organisations participating in the Operation 1027 offensive and the Kachin Independence Army, but did not directly mention the AA. 

Junta spokesperson Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun and writings on Operation 1027 in junta-run newspapers and pro-junta Telegram channels have expressly denounced the AA’s allies taking part in the offensive—the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—but have not named the AA.

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