In-DepthMyanmar

Myanmar military using old tactics to ‘incite conflict’ between Rohingya and Rakhine communities, locals warn

The junta is reportedly ordering Rohingya villagers in Sittwe to protest against the Arakan Army, threatening them with isolation and deprivation of basic commodities if they refuse to comply

As the Arakan Army (AA) gains increasing influence and territory in Rakhine State, locals say the military is responding by employing a strategy of divide-and-rule between Rakhine Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslims in an attempt to establish dominance over the troubled region. 

Since late last year, the AA, an ethnic Rakhine armed organisation, seized several towns previously under regime control after expanding their reach in the state following Myanmar’s 2021 military coup. At the time of reporting, they had captured Myebon, Minbya, Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw, Ponnagyun, and Rathedaung townships in northern Rakhine State, Ramree in southern Rakhine, and Paletwa in Chin State. The armed group has also increased its movements in the state’s southern townships of Taungup, Ann, Kyaukphyu, and Thandwe, according to locals.

The junta responded by conscripting locals in the southern townships of Thandwe, Gwa and Manaung, as well as forcibly recruiting. . .

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