NAYPYITAW — Myanmar’s Ministry of Home Affairs reshuffled the police brigadier-generals of Myanmar Police Force on Monday, with the Border Guard Police Force commander of conflict-torn Maungdaw Township being replaced.
Former chief of Mandalay Region No. 3 Security Police Command Police Brig-Gen Myint Toe has replaced Police Brig-Gen Thura San Lwin as the chief of Maungdaw Border Guard Police Force, said the latter’s personal staff officer Police Lieutenant Lin Lin Oo.
“He has served in Rakhine State for one year, and did his best during his tenure. He was able to put the police force in a state of combat readiness. But not everything was perfect,” said police lieutenant Lin Lin Oo.
In the aftermath of attacks on border guard police outposts in Maungdaw last October—in which nine police officers were killed and large amount of ammunition was seized—Police Brig-Gen Thura San Lwin replaced Police Brig-Gen Maung Maung Khin as the chief of the local border guard police force.
Police Brig-Gen Maung Maung Khin and two other police officers were imprisoned for negligence.
Ensuing “clearance operations” in northern Rakhine by the Myanmar Army and police were dogged by allegations of serious human rights abuses including rape, extra-judicial killings, and arson.
In December, a video emerged of police beating self-identifying Rohingya villagers in northern Rakhine’s Rathedaung Township.
Police Brig-Gen Myint Toe has taken over the responsibility from Police Brig-Gen Thura San Lwin in Maungdaw on Tuesday, said his personal staff officer.
Police Brig-Gen Myint Toe, who was transferred from the Myanmar Army, served as commanders of police forces in Chin State and Tanintharyi Region before being promoted to lead Mandalay Region No. 3 Security Police Command.
Police Colonel Myo Thant, the chief of Oil Field Security Police Force, was promoted to police Brig-Gen to succeed Police Brig-Gen Myint Toe.
Police Brig-Gen Mya Win, the chief of Yangon Region No. 2 Security Police Command succeeds Police Brig-Gen Htay Aung who has retired as the chief of Rakhien State capital Sittwe No. 2 Security Police Command. Police Brig-Gen Tin Ko Ko of Naypyitaw No. 1 Security Police Command succeeds Police Brig-Gen Mya Win.
“It is usual for the police force to make a reshuffle once a year, an d it is not necessarily concerned with their performance,” a retired police officer from Yangon told The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity.
Police Brig-Gen Maung Maung Khin was imprisoned for two years after the first attacks on border guard police outposts in Maungdaw last year, but Brig-Gen Thura San Lwin was brought back to Naypyitaw to head Naypyitaw No. 1 Security Police Command after the second attacks in August this year.
Home Affairs minister Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe during his Rakhine State visit after last year’s attacks said that Thura San Lwin would be able to put Maungdaw under control as he had achieved the ‘Thura’ title—a military title awarded for gallantry—during the battle with Burma Communist Party (BCP) troops.