Soldiers seen at the 72nd Anniversary of Independence Day (Photo - Toe Myat)

Phadu Tun Aung | DMG
8 January, Sittwe

Clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) in Ann Township, Arakan State, have continued over the past two months, according to AA spokesperson Khaing Thukha.

Fighting in the township began near Dar Let Chaung village, at the shared border of Myebon and Ann townships, and a fresh clash broke out on January 7 between Kan Chay and Pyin Wun villages in Ann, about 20 miles from the headquarters of the Tatmadaw’s Western Command.

“Fighting has intensified in the hill country, and at strategic areas between Dar Let Chaung and Yoe Chaung villages between Myebon and Ann townships,” Khaing Thukha told DMG.

Hostilities in 2015 between the Tatmadaw and the AA began in Paletwa Township, Chin State, and then also spilled over into Ponnagyun Township, Arakan State, which initially saw an intensified conflict that has since subsided.

DMG made multiple attempts to get comment from Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team and Colonel Win Zaw Oo from the military’s Western Command regarding the fighting in Ann Township, but they could not be reached.

Popular sentiment appears to endorse a dialogue to end the violence in the region, and the AA is reportedly attempting to proffer a ceasefire.

However, the Tatamadaw does not acknowledge the AA’s legitimacy in Arakan State — an obstacle to the signing of a bilateral ceasefire accord, according to AA affiliates and political analysts.

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