What Elements Push Rakhine into Armed Struggle

AA Commander Gen. Tun Myat Naing

What Elements Push Rakhine into Armed Struggle 

The most significant ethnic armed force can be highlighted in Myanmar revolution history is the Arakan Army wherein a massive youths join with full confidence. They are very fightable ages with brave youthfulness and vigorous challenges. 

This kind of dynamic change and personal gravitas is shocking event in upper Myanmar modern history.  

Arakan Army formerly announces it has trained over ten thousand recruits in Liza, Kachin State. But it does not tell how many young men and women have been recruited and trained in Rakhine State and how many fighters are actually operating. 

On the other hand, the smartest cadets from the Liza’s officer training schools are sent to China’s military academies for advance military study. 

Arakan Army has disclosed its political aim in the mid 2019 that is Rakhine people deserve more concrete power as Confederate state. Some observers think AA is seeking for secession, or full independence. 

For some politician elite circles in Yangon, AA commander’s illustration for confederation is seen as a very dangerous game. Contrary to the politicians’ point of view, AA gains more supports from the local people and more confidence with their-heads high.

It is disinclined to raise a question that why Rakhine people are so confident regarding to AA? To get accurate answer to this practical scrutiny is required to look back what kind of agitated events taken places over the Rakhine people.

There are many foreign investments and projects in Rakhine State, but local people get no benefit at all. The Kyaukpyu project report was shocking to everyone when it was released. The report wrote Myanmar government ignored the losses of the relocated people from the projects. 

Moreover, the arrest of political leaders, shutoff literature talks and freedom of expression, and open violent crackdown on peaceful protestors by the democratically elected government are narrowing the door of decade-long-hope for political freedom that forces the Rakhine people to open another alternative of armed struggle to regain self-determination and greater autonomy.

Another encouragement and resentment of the Rakhine people to join and support the armed struggle is that the repeated war crimes and atrocities committed by the Tatmadaw replicates “4-Cut” tactics in the Rakhine State as it did in Karen, Kachin, Shan, and Mon ethnic people. Unlike other ethnic people, Rakhine are very proud and strong ethical ones who do not accept lawlessness and extra judicial killing. The recent torture, arrests, massive relocations, and killing civilians by Tatmadaw fuel the people powerfully flowing into the strand of armed resistance. 

Along with widely leading political front and dynamically growing of the military power of Arakan Army, there is a question to be asked where and how AA gets financial supports for the training, logistic, arms, medicines, and financials?

By glancing back to rough times before 2018-19, it was the same as other revolutionary organization, AA faced every kind of hardship. But it has already passed through the difficult roads. 

Arakan Army involved and fought along with Kokang forces in Muse, very strategic location on Myanmar-China border. AA gained war experience and affectively supports from its alliances in northern Myanmar. The remarkable achievement of AA during the war in Northern Shan State was trustworthyship with Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA). AA fighters responsibilities were to take down numerous local militia controlled casino hubs.

Many AA fighters were killed and sacrificed during the northern war along with Kokang ethnic. In return, AA was supported financial and weapons by its alliances. 

A remark made by AA commander is another factor of strengthening organizational sectors and mobilization its troops in Rakhine State with sophisticated weapons wherein how deep Chinese involvement in Rakhine ethic people struggling for self-determination as well as other ethnic people near the Chinese borders that the commander said he did not oppose Chinese investments and projects in Rakhine state. 

Chinese needs local people support in Rakhine State in order to succeed its projects and investments.  For this, Chinese may not be able to escape from supporting the very popular and heart of the Rakhine people, Arakan Army.

After AA has achieved certain extent of political and military momentous maneuver, It publically reveals political destination among the ethic politicians in which AA is fighting for greater autonomy and confederation. 

The revelation in ethic armed revolution history makes mixed eruption and reaction among the ethic armed force leaders, who have conventional closer relationships with the government, alleviating tension on one hand, and constituting trustworthiness on the other hands. 

Having political tension and constant attacks on Myanmar troops and strengthening military power after Arakan Army gaining stronghold in Palatwa township, Chin State, and advancing its fighters in a number of townships in Rakhine State in 2019, Myanmar army has to reinforce with air force, navy, and infantry battalions to counter attack on AA. But its air and navy supports are limited and ineffective so far. 

Military analysts in Myanmar and Thailand admitted that in ten years of military struggling history of Arakan Army is unlike other military operations in ethnic regions conducted by Myanmar army as it is a foreign war and use of all military resorts. 

On the other hand, Myanmar government is calling for dialogue with Arakan Army. However, AA has already disclosed insincerity of Myanmar army and its unwillingness of genuine peace. The calls is very contrary to the reality of military operation on the ground.  

In order to end the war in Rakhine State, Myanmar army should immediately halt military operations first. And then, it has to review the oppressive policy and context that pushes Rakhine people for armed resistance. Finally, Myanmar army should abandon its arrogant stand on resisting to inexistence of Arakan Army in Rakhine land but need to recognize the true existence of AA in their own state. 

Note: This article is translated from unknown author on Social Media By Arakan Information Center and Arakan Think Tank.  


  1. UnknownOctober 30, 2019 at 1:39 AM


  2. UnknownOctober 30, 2019 at 6:34 AM


  3. UnknownOctober 31, 2019 at 2:00 AM

    ARAKAN ARMY is the armed branch of the Rakhine Mogh separatist people with an extremist plan. Their plan is to gain independence from Burma. They want regain their lost Arakan pirate kingdom. In this dream, they also want to annex Chittagong Hill Tract to it.
    In this plan, they have recently collaborated with the Burmese government as the vigilantes, collaborators to carry out Rohingya killings in Arakan which we call a genocide.

    Now they are trying to get rid of Burmese rule in Arakan. Unfortunately, these anti Muslim, anti Bangladesh and anti Rohingya extremists groups operate from Bangladesh. Their headquarter is in Banderban. They also mingle with Chakmas and Moghs in Rangamati and in Cox`s Bazar. For the sake of Burma and Bangladesh`s territorial integrity, both governments should make joint ventures to destroy this notorious group.


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