Arakan Army Calls for Calm After Bangladesh Border Clash

 Arakan Army troops on parade in Laiza, Kachin State, in April 2014. (Photo: Moe Myint / The Irrawaddy)

Arakan Army troops on parade in Laiza, Kachin State, in April 2014. (Photo: Moe Myint / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — The Arakan Army has sought to reach out to the government of Bangladesh to prevent further skirmishes after fighting erupted between Bangladeshi border guards and the ethnic Arakanese rebels on Wednesday in western Burma.

Arakan Army (AA) deputy commander-in-chief Col Nyo Tun Aung, denied his group had encroached on a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) camp, telling The Irrawaddy on Thursday they respected the latter’s right to patrol the border and hoped dialogue would help avert further clashes.

According to an official AA statement, the two-hour long clash began at around 10 am on Wednesday, with both sides opening fire near the Boro Modak area of Thanci in Bandaran District, near the shared Burma-Bangladesh border.

The Arakanese rebels claimed that at least one BGB soldier was killed.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that one injured BGB soldier had been rushed to a military hospital in Chittagong. The report also stated that Bangladesh had boosted its troop presence along the border.

“We have already explained to the Bangladeshi government that the AA is not the enemy,” said Nyo Tun Aung. “All indigenous ethnic groups in Burma are fighting for self-determination, democracy and equal rights…. The Bangladeshi government should, on humanitarian grounds, [show] empathy…”

The AA has instructed its forces to avoid any fighting, except in self-defense, the group said.

“We are trying to send a letter to the Bangladesh Prime Minister and we would like to say sorry for the conflict and that we would like to prevent this happening again in the future,” Nyo Tun Aung said.

The recent fighting is thought to have sparked after BGB soldiers confiscated several horses, used to carry supplies, belonging to the AA’s political wing.

The Arakan Army is also based in Laiza, Kachin State, where the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is headquartered, and has recently been engaged in fighting with government troops, along with the KIA and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army.

In March, fighting broke out between the AA and the Burma Army near Kyauktaw Township in what was believed to be the first time in a decade that ethnic Arakanese armed rebels in the region had clashed with government troops.

16 Responses to Arakan Army Calls for Calm After Bangladesh Border Clash

  1. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) chief Maj-Gen Aziz Ahmed says operations against the ‘Arakan Army’, a Myanmar separatist group, will continue.


    • I support BGB “operation because AA is trying to destroy the good relation of 2 countries and the stability of Rakhine State.Rakhine People also do not support and recognize AA.

      • I support AA because it stands up to free the Arakan Land from the totalitarian Myanmar military rule. Why should we care the relationship between invaders from the west and from the east?

        • Rakhine State is not owned by Rakhine alone.It is owned by other ationalities such as Rakhine ;Thet ;Myo; Burmese and etc. So also Kachine is not owne by Kachine because 1/3 is Shan ; 1/3 is Kachin; 1/3 is Lee Zee; Ra Won ; Burmese and others All Union is owned by all nationalities equally. Do not say bullish thing! Rakhine is peaceful and stable before AA came. No one recognize AA. AA is tying to destroy the stability of Rakhine State.

        • When Bengali issue was happened in Rakhine; AA is hiding “Where”. This ia called defending their land. XXXXXX

      • Rakhine people strongly support AA, and consider so-called Myanmar Governments are blood-suckers with act of colony. All ethnics except Barma do the same way – that is why fighting around the country.

  2. AA can claim that AA is not the enemy of the Bangladesh, unfortunately Bangladesh may not think this way.As long as AA become to dominate the border area, as much as threat to their security. Especially Rohingya population in border area.AA can not fight two front line on same time. Stop using your own blood to fight for someone policy. Do not make a lot of enemy before you can handle. Remember, northern Burma politic are very much under influence of big brother neighbor.This big brother and your friends(KIO/MNDAA) and your foe( Bangladesh) are likely on same boat.Finally , please wait and see for a few month till the end of election. You never know what will come for your cause.

    • AA is brainless.That is why they are doing as per guidance of their leader “KIA”.

    • AA is nothing but a branch of KIA. It is a political strategy of KIA to claim that alll ethnic are fighting Government. They are longing for power also because AA has only 50 or 60 so called soliders. What a power crazy ethnic groups…

  3. War grow up in our community for lack knowledge and Administrative capacity .
    Both State party of United Nation Bangladesh and Myanmar’s peoples lives in under poverty line where Army offensive and attempted violent International humanitarian law .
    I suggest for get response by The International Jurisdiction for peace and security .

  4. Doing so is not targeted to Bangladesh. They want to take part in PeaceProcess and Peace Signing with government. It is just to get sympathy from International. In fact ; AA and KIA is same or Father of AA is KIA.

  5. Soliders in the pictures are not AA.2/3 are KIA solidets and only 1/3 is AA. It is their propaganda picture that AA has many soliders.

  6. AA came out of frustration over regional command and loss of trust and concern of Bengali intrusions, 1970-2015..

    AA has a higher and bigger responsibility later down the line.

    Save, conserve, grow. Zero enemy,no shooting, friendship and stability. Do not hate the Burmese. They do not know you are different. We bleed with you and weep with you. Our bloods are mixed, high and low.

    • The man culprit isRakhine themseves.If you go toRakine ; there are inly a few adult men.Majority are women.Adult Rakhine left their homes and do not work in Rakhine. So illegal Bengalieasily crawled to Rakhine via border. AA is useless and never take part in Bengali issuse. They ; as per instruction of KIA;is ever seeking power in the name of ethnic issues. GET OUT AA from Rakhine Land . We do not need you

  7. Coming Soon……………………….. KLT?

  8. AA is like a parentless child, it is not controlled by a political party. As minion to the KIA, its existence is flawed from the very beginning. Though its leaders call themselves as generals, and all others, they are known to be less than 800 strong. Waging an independence war with 800, or even 8000 (I don’t know when they can do this) is plain quixotic. The leaders are know to be extravagant and boastful. This is not how political leadership is achieved. They talk about independence, while they never had any meaningful strategy and policy or political acceptance. Just a bunch of armed robbers.

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