Myanmar Spring Chronicle – November 26 Scenes
MoeMaKa, November 27 2022
An informal ceasefire between the Rakhine Army AA and the Military Council
An informal cease-fire agreement was reached four months after fighting resumed in August this year between the AA and the military council Army. The two organizations confirmed the ceasefire agreement, and the military council did not give a reason for that.
The AA said that it was due to the needs of the humanitarian situation, as reported in the news.
Since the beginning of the fighting in Rakhine state, the military council has blocked the transportation of goods to the areas of Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Rathedaung in northern Rakhine, and Paletwa, which is part of Chin State. After months, the price of food in those areas has increased, and it has become difficult to buy medicine and fuel. Even public hospitals have reached the point where they have issued notices that they cannot provide treatment except for emergencies because there is not enough medicine. There are also arrests by the military council on civilians accused of being members of AA, and in return, AA has been arresting those accused of providing information and support to the military council in recent months.
The fighting between the AA and the military council started with attacking the border guard posts of Bangladesh, and there were attacks in which the AA took over the 40-mile border guard post, and the observers thought that the AA had the goal of establishing a foothold on the border between Rakhine State and Bangladesh.
There have been statements that AA is ready to participate in resolving the issue of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and AA aims to play a key role not only in Rakhine state but also in the Rohingya issue that draws international attention, and has tried to be a major political character.
In some press conferences and interviews, the AA referred to the renewed battle as a battle they would have to escalate until their goal, the Confederacy, was achieved. Now, four months later, when the ceasefire agreement was reached, it must be said that the above objectives have not been reached.
These are the goals of the AA, and on the other hand, there will be questions as to why the military council agreed to a ceasefire.
Since the start of the 2020 election, the battles in Rakhine State have slowed down, and the battles between the AA and the army completely stopped after the election. Soon after, with the intervention of the president of the Japanese Sasakawa Foundation, an agreement was reached, and the military had stopped fighting the AA since before the military coup. After the military coup, the declaration of AA as a terrorist group was withdrawn.
We all understand that there is a ceasefire on the Rakhine front to give more attention to the control of the political power on the mainland, the oppression of the newly emerging armed forces and urban guerrilla forces on the central-plain, and to focus armed attacks on the new armed conflict areas, such as Sagaing Division and northern Magway Division.
During those times, there were channels of communication between the AA and the military council. In 2021, they had a good enough relationship to give the COVID-19 vaccination to AA members. After that, it can be assumed that AA’s gradual introduction of civil administration and justice courts signals the return of tensions with the military council. It may be concluded that the military council prevented the AA from acting like a shadow government ruling from behind and that the armed conflict has resumed in August 2022.
To say why the military council agreed to such a cease-fire in the current situation, the AA is an armed organization fighting for the goal of confederation of their state, while armed groups in some regions of Myanmar are aiming to overthrow the country’s political power; in other words, they are targeting the central government that covers the entire country. So, it can be concluded that the military council has practically chosen which enemy to fight first from a military point of view.
I don’t think it would be wrong to conclude from the current situation that there is a ceasefire on the other military front to focus on attacking the KNU, which has accepted and given support to the NUG, and the KIA, which is providing weapons and military leadership assistance to the upper part of Sagaing Division.