Arakan Army Claims Control of Buthidaung !

Rakhine State, Myanmar

Rakhine State, Myanmar

Rakhine State, Myanmar – The Arakan Army, a powerful ethnic armed group fighting against Myanmar's military government, claimed on Saturday to have captured the town of Buthidaung in western Rakhine State. This latest victory comes amid a series of successful operations against the military regime, with the Muslim Rohingya population emerging as the primary victims of the conflict.

The capture of Buthidaung, located near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, has forced many Rohingya residents to flee. Reports indicate that the town has been subject to arson, although conflicting accounts prevent an objective determination of responsibility. Communication in the area has been severely disrupted, with internet and mobile phone services largely unavailable.

Arakan Army spokesman Khaing Thukha confirmed to the Associated Press via SMS from an undisclosed location that the group had seized all military posts in Buthidaung and now controls the town. The Arakan Army, known for its military prowess and strong ties to ethnic minority movements in Rakhine, seeks greater autonomy from Myanmar's central government. The organization is part of a broader coalition of armed ethnic groups that have recently captured strategic areas along the Myanmar-China border in the country's northeast.

Aung Kyaw Moe, the deputy minister for human rights in the National Unity Government (NUG) — a shadow government opposing Myanmar's military junta — reported on Facebook that Buthidaung had been "turned into a pile of ashes." He described how residents have been compelled to seek refuge in nearby rice fields. Moe, who is of Rohingya descent, emphasized the need for a thorough and impartial investigation to hold those responsible accountable. "Rebellion against military dictatorship does not mean license to do whatever one wants. Even war has rules," he stated.

The Arakan Army has denied allegations of setting fires in the town. Spokesman Khaing Thukha attributed the destruction to airstrikes conducted by the military government. He further accused retreating soldiers and their alleged allies within Rohingya guerrilla groups of setting the fires. These groups reportedly include local Muslims recruited by the military.

The Myanmar military government has a notorious history of employing scorched-earth tactics, including village burnings, in its confrontations with pro-democracy forces and ethnic minority groups.

The situation in Buthidaung remains tense and uncertain, with the displaced Rohingya community facing heightened fear and insecurity. As the conflict continues, the need for international attention and intervention becomes increasingly urgent to address the humanitarian crisis and ensure accountability for the atrocities committed.


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