Govt rejects Rakhine militia claims

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — The government has rejected rumours that it plans to establish and equip militia forces in Rakhine State.

Spokesman U Zaw Htay said today that the proposed formation of “paramilitary” People’s Militia Forces in Rakhine State was not in line with the policies of either the Union or Rakhine State governments.

The rumours have spread since the killing of at least seven ethnic Mro Buddhists in the Mayu Mountains in early August.

The government has blamed “terrorists” for the attack, a reference ot the insurgent group calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Zaw Htay said that the “extremists were stepping up their terrorist activities in the region”. In response, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was “working together with the military leadership” so that Tatmadaw forces to negate the terrorist threat, control the Mayu mountain area and protect local people there.

“The government has a priority to wipe out the terrorist actions effectively in order to maintain peace, stability and security in the region,” Zaw Htay said.

Earlier today, a Rakhine-based media group, the Root Investigative Agency, quoted the head of the National League for Democracy’s Sittwe Township branch as saying that the government planned to train and equip local militias comprising ethnic Rakhine.

The report followed demonstrations in 15 Rakhine State towns on Sunday at which protesters called for the formation of militias to combat the Muslim insurgents.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar