On January 15, an ethnic armed group in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, the Arakan Army, announced its control over the town of Paletwa, which borders India and Bangladesh.
This marks another setback for the military government as it faces rebellions across the country. Myanmar is grappling with multiple insurgencies where anti-junta groups, supported by a pro-democracy parallel government, have taken over military posts and towns.
The Arakan Army declared Paletwa a “Military Council-free area,” signifying the end of the military government’s administrative control. The group, part of an armed ethnic alliance, initiated surprise attacks in mid-November on military targets in Paletwa and other townships.
Paletwa is the first reported township to fall under the Arakan Army’s control, situated just north of Rakhine and sharing borders with Bangladesh and India. The group’s spokesperson, Khaing Thukha, confirmed the takeover, stating they would collaborate with neighbouring countries on border stability and assume administrative and law enforcement responsibilities in the region.
The military junta’s spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment, and Reuters could not independently verify the Arakan Army’s claim.
- Arakan Army seizes western Burma township bordering India and Bangladesh, group says Fox News
- Myanmar rebel group claims control of India border town BBC.com
- Myanmar rebel group claims control of town bordering India, Bangladesh Reuters.com
- Arakan Army resistance force says it has taken control of a strategic township in western Myanmar The Washington Post
- Myanmar: Rebel group says its captured strategic town from ruling military | BBC News BBC News