On April 21, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi issued a statement offering praise to the Tatmadaw soldiers fighting against the Arakan Army (AA) in Arakan and Chin states.

“Some IDPs have returned to their homes. They are afraid to be infected as they know that mass gatherings can amplify the spread of disease”

On March 23, the Myanmar government designated the Arakan Army as a terrorist group and unlawful association. DMG sought the opinions of politicians, political analysts and legal experts about what could prove to be a major development in Myanmar’s peace process, and its potential implications for the conflict dynamics at play in Arakan State.

On June 21 last year, the Myanmar government cut off mobile internet access in eight Arakan State townships and Chin State’s Paletwa Township. With the internet blackout now in its ninth month, DMG interviewed human rights campaigners, civil society activists and a member of Parliament about how the shutdown has impacted the daily lives of people in the affected townships. Because many of those townships are also considered conflict zones, the human rights implications of the internet blackout was


Daw Khin Htay Win, a 28-year-old primary school teacher from Pyein Daw Kone Dan village in Arakan State’s Rathedaung Township, suffered a shrapnel wound at about 3 p.m. on the afternoon of February 3. An artillery shell allegedly launched from a Tatmadaw watercraft near the village hit her, family members said.DMG interviewed the teacher about the incident, as well as asking for her opinion on education and peace.

“Donors need to apply for permission from the state government to provide a donation. As the government did not allow them to go to the camps for security reasons, the number of donors is decreasing.”

Fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army has plagued Arakan State for more than a year, raising questions as to whether the 2020 general election will be held throughout the region. DMG asked members of political parties, lawmakers and civil society organizations for their thoughts on what might happen if some parts of the state are not able to vote in the polls slated for November.

The Arakan Army (AA) is ready to cooperate with the government if Myanmar’s 2020 general election will be held in Arakan State, the ethnic armed group’s leader, Maj-Gen Twan Mrat Naing, told The Irrawaddy recently. DMG’s Kyaw Thu Htay contacted some lawmakers, representatives of political parties and election observers to elicit their views on the comments made by the AA chief.

Early December 2019, the wife and children of Arakan Army (AA) leader Major-General Twan Mrat Naing were arrested by Thai authorities in the northern city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The wife, Daw Hnin Zar Phyu, and her 11-year-old daughter Ma Saw Pyae Shin and toddler son Myat Linn Zan, were detained by immigration authorities on December 4, and are currently being held in the Thai capital Bangkok.

When working in areas affected by fighting/ongoing clashes, we examine many factors including the safety and security of the situation before we send our teams in.  We work in close coordination with the authorities, seeking relevant field clearance and/or approval so that we can effectively provide for the most urgent needs of those displaced.


Privacy for IDP females is scarce
Devoted teacher still languishes behind bars
Ma Phyu’s Story: Living Life in Limbo


Report on Arakan from January to April 2021
2020: An Arakan Year in Review
Six takeaways from the Arakan State elections

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