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Hundreds Displaced as Conflict Rages in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

By Latin America Herald Tribune  •  April 28, 2016

SITTWE, Myanmar – A delegation of members of Parliament in Myanmar visited the country’s western Rakhine State on Wednesday amid tightened security after hundreds of residents were displaced by armed conflict that has raged since mid-April between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army guerillas.

Authorities in the state capital of Sittwe set up checkpoints to scour vehicles for any illegal weapons that could be dispatched to the Arakan Army soldiers, following ambushes by the government army that sent 400 people fleeing to a shelter in Buthidaung township, an epa journalist on the scene reported.

Five lawmakers from the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Arakan National party (ANP) visited makeshift shelters in Buthidaung to discuss humanitarian aid, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper.

“With the rainy season approaching, things will get more difficult for the displaced Arakanese, and the future of the conflict between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar Army remains unclear,” Arakan MP Khin Saw Wai said.

The Myanmar Army, also known as the Tatmadaw, launched two attacks on Rathedaung and Buthidaung townships during the Buddhist New Year celebrations on April 16 as part of a scheme to “eliminate” the insurgent group, which was excluded from the national reconciliation process and has refused to surrender.

Clashes at the end of December and in early January had already displaced hundreds.

“The Tatmadaw has announced that it will continue to launch offensive attacks against AA forces until the area is cleared of all insurgents,” the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper announced earlier this year.

Human rights advocacy group Burma Partnership has condemned the attacks, saying that despite the NLD government formed earlier this year, the Myanmar Army remains unaccountable, with its actions obstructing peace and the possibility of a nationwide ceasefire.

“As ever, it is local communities who are feeling the brunt of the offensives,” Burma Partnership added in an article published by the Burma Link non-profit.

Myanmar is home to eight main armed ethnic minority groups, and a number of splinter groups. Discussions for a natiownide ceasefire agreement are underway, though at least three of the main armed opposition groups are excluded.

 

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(၂၉) ႏွစ္ေျမာက္ စစ္ေတြဆန္ျပႆနာေန႔ ဝမ္းနည္းေအာက္ေမ့ဖြယ္ အထိမ္းအမွတ္ သေဘာထားထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္