Military brings criminal charges against southern Rakhine State locals over alleged Arakan Army ties  

The junta recently arrested nine locals from southern Rakhine State, including two members of the general administration department, accusing them of having links to the Arakan Army (AA), with which the military has been engaged in escalating clashes in western Myanmar.

The individuals were charged with violating Article 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act, with some were also hit with charges of incitement under Section 505a of the Penal Code. 

Among them was Win Maung Maung, a senior clerk within the Thandwe District administration, was accused of allegedly providing funding support to the AA and alerting them of military and police activities in the region. Regional clerk Hlaing Win Htut was also charged with having affiliations with the armed group, according to an October 28 report in the junta mouthpiece the Rakhine Daily.

Five men from four Thandwe Township villages were singled out and arrested, according to locals: Nyi Pyu and Nay Myo Aung from Singaung, Kyaw Kyaw Naing from Indaing Gyi, Maung Maht from Leli, and U San from Shwe Thar Chaing. 

San Ko, 49, is the owner of the Rakhine Ar Mahn bus terminal, and was arrested by troops from Light Infantry Battalion 566 on October 23. 

Further details about the arrest of the other Thandwe men were not known at the time of reporting. 

In Taungup Township, three locals were also arrested and charged under Article 17(1): Phyo Min Zaw from Yan Khaw, Khin Hla from Mahn Ni, and Kyaw Kyaw Naing from Thin Pan Shwe. 

More than 30 civilians were also detained from Yanbye Town in Ramree and from Kyaukphyu Township during the first half of October. Among them was a land registry officer, locals said. 

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