The Tatmadaw publicized U Kyaw Aye Maung as a member of the Arakan Army. (Photo - Office of Commander-in -Chief of DefenseServices.)

Kyaw Thu Htay | DMG
20 December, Sittwe

A village administrator in Arakan State’s Minbya Township, accused by the Tatmadaw of being an Arakan Army (AA) cadre and found dead earlier this month, had no such ties to the ethnic armed group, according to the dead man’s family and an AA spokesperson.

The Tatmadaw said in a statement last week that its troops responded to an attack launched by the Arakan Army, allegedly linked to a house in Seittaya village. At the house they found local village administrator U Nyan Thein, and his counterpart from Kyaukmaw village U Kyaw Aye Maung, shot dead on the evening of 11 December, the statement added.

The Tatmadaw said its troops also seized a photo from U Kyaw Aye Maung as evidence, which it said showed him taking part in a military parade in front of Arakan Army leader Maj-Gen Twan Mrat Naing. Seven people detained in the area confessed to having links to the Arakan Army, the Tatmadaw said on 18 December.

However, U Kyaw Hla Phyu, an uncle of U Kyaw Aye Maung, told DMG that his nephew was neither an Arakan Army member nor had links to the ethnic armed group.

“He didn’t have connections with the Arakan Army,” he said. “They held a meeting at the residence of the village administrator of Seittaya village to set up a relief camp for displaced people because armed clashes are ongoing near our village.”

Khaing Thukha, a spokesperson for the Arakan Army (AA), also said the Tatmadaw’s statement was a fabrication.

“Not only all villagers but also his colleagues know him [the village administrator]. I think the Tatmadaw tried to hide information about the crimes committed by its members,” he said.

According to family members of the victims, Tatmadaw troops entered Seittaya village and asked the residents about the house of the village administrator on 11 December. The troops are alleged to have beaten the village administrator U Nyan Thein before executing him. A woman, Daw Phyu Phyu Win, was also shot dead in the incident. The Tatmadaw’s statement did not mention the death of Daw Phyu Phyu Win.

The Tatmadaw detained several people and apparently seized the body of the Kyaukmaw village administrator on 11 December. U Kyaw Aye Maung’s body was found at the base of Mt. Minphu, west of Thalu Chaung village, the afternoon of 14 December, according to family members.

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