Police Chief Admits Weak Security Measures in Arakan State

By Htet Naing Zaw 10 October 2016

NAYPYIDAW – Chief of the Burma police force Maj-Gen Zaw Win admitted weak security measures near the Bangladeshi border in northern Arakan State where border guard headquarters and outposts were hit by a series of fatal attacks early Sunday.

“We have deployed security forces in all places, but we failed to ensure the effectiveness of security forces to patrol this area,” the police chief admitted at a press conference in Naypyidaw later the same day.

Additional security forces have since been brought into Arakan State, also known as Rakhine State, said the police chief. It now has the largest number of security forces of all the states and divisions of Burma.

Authorities view Arakan State as now having two pressing needs, he said. Forces will need to round up the remaining attackers and also enforce the rule of law.

“We are now deploying forces with the use of helicopters.” police chief Maj-Gen Zaw Win told The Irrawaddy. “The Ministry of Defense will be on operations in the area and the Ministry of Home Affairs will enforce security and rule of law.”

Nine police officers were killed and five injured during a series of assaults on Kyikanpyin headquarters and Kotankauk and Ngakhuya outposts in Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships by nearly 200 attackers from 1:30am to 4:30am on Sunday. The assailants took 62 assorted arms and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition in the three separate attacks. Nine attackers were also killed and two arrested, said the government.

On Sunday afternoon, authorities extended the existing curfew in Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships from 11pm – 4am to 7pm – 6am. The assembly of more than five people is prohibited.