Military reinforcing troops, weapons in Arakan State: residents
30 Mar 2023
30 March 2023, Sittwe
Despite the latest ceasefire between the Arakan Army (AA) and Myanmar military, reached on November 26, the latter has dispatched reinforcements to some townships in Arakan State and increased its military presence over recent days, according to locals.
Myanmar Navy vessels reportedly transported troops to Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw via Yay Chan Pyin Jetty in Sittwe, eyewitnesses said.
“We’ve seen the military’s reinforcement of not only troops but also food supplies and weapons to Buthidaung and Maungdaw through Yay Chan Pyin Jetty in Angumaw Village, Rathedaung Township, in recent days,” said a resident of Yay Chan Pyin Village who did not want to be named for security reasons. “Around 80 junta soldiers were transported to Buthidaung via Yay Chan Pyin Jetty this morning.”
A Myanmar Navy vessel carrying about 800 junta soldiers and their family members departed Yay Chan Pyin Jetty for Kyaukphyu on the morning of March 29, a boatman said.
“The junta soldiers and their family members are probably being transferred to Kyaukphyu,” the boatman added.
Weapon fires were reported in Ann, where the military’s Western Command is based, on Armed Forces Day on March 27, and junta troops and weapons were transferred to Ann from Taungup, said a resident of Ann.
“I didn’t see military trucks coming from mainland Myanmar in recent days. The military sends reinforcements to Taungup and Ann on a daily basis. The military launched weapons tests on March 27,” the Ann resident added.
“The military used to transfer their family members to the battalions from the frontlines when there was a possibility of clashes,” said U Pe Than, a veteran Arakanese politician. “Primarily, the military council was doing this to prevent potential harm and to protect their families. The military is prioritising the protection of their family members.”
In December, AA spokesman U Khaing Thukha told DMG that the regime at that time was taking advantage of the lull in fighting to reinforce its positions in Arakan State.
DMG attempted to contact Arakan State Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Kyaw Thura regarding the regime’s military presence and transfer of troops, but he could not be reached.
The AA observed an informal ceasefire with the Myanmar military on November 26 on humanitarian grounds.