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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

New curfew imposed in Rakhine State.

MYANMAR TIMES 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 03, 2019
NYAN LYNN AUNG


Rakhine ethnic people travel by motorbike in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar. Photo - EPA



A curfew was imposed from 9pm to 5am in five townships in northern Rakhine State on Tuesday following clashes between the Tatmadaw (military) and Arakan Army (AA), according to the state government.


The state issued a statement signed by Security and Border Affairs Minister Colonel Phone Tint on Monday that said the curfew had been ordered to enforce the administration, rules and regulations of the government as well as to protect the state’s businesses and economy.

“There is a public curfew in the late evening,” said a state official who asked not to be named.

The official said the curfew in Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun, Rathedaung, Minbya and Mrauk-U townships was in response to the fighting, which injured an unspecified number of civilians and destroyed property.

U Hla Thein Aung, MP for Minbya township, said the township administrator has not confirmed the curfew and villagers are waiting for an official announcement.

“We are waiting to see what will happen after the curfew is imposed,” he said.

U Nyunt Tun Oo, who lives in Rathedaung, said the curfew was declared at around 6pm in the area. “I think it may affect some local businesses,” he said.

After deadly riots erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012, most of northern Rakhine, including the state capital Sittwe, was put under a dusk-to-dawn curfew that was lifted four years ago. 

Then-president U Thein Sein announced a surprise end to the state of emergency in Rakhine, but the night-time clampdown is still in force in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships.

U Tun Aung Kyaw, secretary of the Arakan National Party, said the new curfew is an example of how the National League for Democracy-led government ensures political order. “The curfew holds unpleasant potential for our state,” he said.

Recent clashes between the military and AA in Kyauktaw, Rathedaung, Ponnagyun and Mrauk-U have displaced over 17,000 civilians in Rakhine.

The US embassy in Yangon issued a statement on Tuesday that expressed deep concern about the danger to civilians from the ongoing conflict in Rakhine and Chin states.

“We call on all parties to renew their efforts to end the fighting and work toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” the statement said.

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