New Rakhine Police Chief Appointed

By Htun Htun 6 September 2017

YANGON — Amid violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar’s Ministry of Home Affairs replaced chief of Rakhine State Police Force Police Col Sein Lwin with deputy chief of Shan State Police Force Police Col Aung Myat Moe.

Police Col. Sein Lwin served in the position for 19 months and has been transferred to Bago Region Police Force, he told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

“I think [the move] is transferring the appropriate person to the appropriate place to meet work requirements,” Police Col Sein Lwin said.

During his tenure as the chief of Rakhine Sate Police Force, two deadly militant attacks on police outposts in Maungdaw District in northern Rakhine prompted large security operations.

In the aftermath of attacks on border guard police outposts in Maungdaw last October—in which nine police officers were killed—Police Brig-Gen Thura San Lwin replaced Police Brig-Gen Maung Maung Khin as the chief of border guard police force.

Months-long police and Myanmar Army security operations were dogged by allegations of human rights abuses including arson, rape and extrajudicial killings and saw an estimated 75,000 self-identifying Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.

After militant attacks launched on Aug. 25, violence in Rakhine has claimed the lives of 13 members of the security forces, two government employees, 28 civilians—including 14 Arakanese, seven Hindus, and seven self-identifying Rohingya Muslims—and 371 suspected militants, according to a government Information Committee statement released Wednesday.

More than 6,800 houses in 59 villages were torched and eight bridges were destroyed by mines, said the statement.

Some 146,000 Muslims have fled across the border to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, according to a UN source cited by Reuters and nearly 27,000 people are internally displaced, according to the Myanmar government.

The reshuffle also saw transfers in Magwe and Mandalay regions.