Khaing Thukha, spokesperson of the Arakan Army / Photo - AA

Win Nyunt | DMG
13 September, Sittwe
The number of clashes in northern Arakan State is dropping when compared to previous times, said the Arakan Army.

The conflicts will completely stop if the Tatmadaw halts its offensives, said Khaing Thukha, spokesperson of the Arakan Army.

“I think that the number of battles has decreased to a certain extent. But the armed clashes continue as the Tatmadaw launches offensive campaigns against the Arakan Army. The conflicts will inevitably end if the Tatmadaw halts the offensives,” he said.

Three of the Northern Alliance – Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Arakan Army (AA) announced a one-month ceasefire with the Tatmadaw from 9 September to 8 October. But they are committed to fighting back at any time and in any place if the Tatmadaw makes offensive attacks against them, the group said in a statement.

There were some clashes in Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Rathedaung, Mrauk-U and Minbya Townships in Arakan State due to the offensives launched by the Tatmadaw, the Arakan Army said in a press release.

“The Tatmadaw has launched offensives in Buthidaung Township one week ago. We attacked some boats that were used by the Tatmadaw to dispatch reinforcements to this area. Our intention is very clear because we just defend ourselves against invaders,” Khaing Thukha said.

Recently, some confrontations between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army erupted near Pan Myang and Kyauk Kyat Villages in Mrauk-U Township. The Arakan Army said in a statement that the Tatmadaw were using civilians as human shields when moving military columns and battalions from one place to another.

Asked about the Tatmadaw’s use of civilians as human shields by phone, Col Win Zaw Oo spokesperson of the Tatmadaw’s Western Command which is responsible for Arakan State was not available for comment.

The Northern Alliance agreed to attend the peace talks scheduled to be held in Keng Tung, Shan State on 17 September. There is some speculation that representatives from the Tatmadaw will take part in the talks.

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