Amid Tension with Local Armed Group, Myanmar Military Submarine Moves to Naval Base in Rakhine

By The Irrawaddy 1 June 2022

A Myanmar military submarine arrived at a deep-sea port that is being built by Aung Pyae Sone, the son of junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, at Ohn Kyuein Island in Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu Township on Tuesday morning, according to residents.

Kyaukphyu residents said they saw the submarine in the Than Zit River in eastern Kyaukphyu, heading in the direction of Ohn Kyuein Island, at around 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

“I saw the submarine between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Tuesday. It was half-submerged and was escorted by a Navy vessel,” a Kyaukphyu resident told The Irrawaddy.

A company owned by Aung Pyae Sone in partnership with foreign companies is building a submarine port at the Danyawaddy Naval Base located between Kyaukphyu and Madae Island, said residents.

Aung Pyae Sone’s company, a Kokang company and a Vietnamese company have been building the port since early 2021, shortly after the military coup, according to residents.

Aung Pyae Sone arrived in Kyaukphyu by air on March 19. Heavily armed junta soldiers provided security in the township and along the coast that day.

The regime has barred local vessels and fishing trawlers from trespassing into the port project area. The arrival of one of the regime’s two submarines in Rakhine has attracted interest as military tensions are again running high between the regime and the Arakan Army after a more than one-year unofficial ceasefire, which took hold in November 2020.

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