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1/10/2019 President Convenes Top-Level Security Meeting in Wake of AA Attacks

Burma

President Convenes Top-Level Security Meeting


in Wake of AA Attacks


President U Win Myint leads a high-level meeting in Naypyitaw on Jan. 7, 2019 in the wake of the Arakan Army’s deadly attacks against four police outposts three days earlier in
Buthidaung Township, Rakhine State. / Myanmar President’s Office

By THE IRRAWADDY 8 January 2019

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1/10/2019 President Convenes Top-Level Security Meeting in Wake of AA Attacks

President U Win Myint led a high-level coordination meeting on national security and
current international relations on Monday afternoon in Naypyitaw, following the Arakan
Army (AA)’s attacks on four police outposts in Rakhine State’s Buthidaung Township on
Jan. 4, which left 14 police officers dead.

All 11 members of the National Defense and Security Council—the president; State
Counselor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; both of the Union
vice presidents; the speakers of both houses of the Union Parliament; the Army chief;
the deputy Army chief; and the ministers of Home Affairs, Defense, and Border Affairs—
were present, together with the ministers of the Office of the State Counselor; the
Office of the Union Government; Investment and Foreign Economic Relations; and
International Cooperation, according to the President’s Office.

The government avoided describing the gathering an official NDSC meeting due to the
presence of the additional Union ministers from new ministries formed under the NLD,
as well as the chairman of the Peace Commission and chief of Military Security Affairs.

President’s Office spokesman U Zaw Htay said the meeting focused on developments
in the security situation in the wake of the Tatmadaw’s declaration of a four-month truce
and the AA’s attacks on the police outposts, which came as Myanmar marked its
Independence Day.

He said the AA’s actions did nothing to help the government’s efforts to develop
Rakhine State and reduce conflict in the area.

“The leaders reviewed the [AA] attacks on the police stations and decided what steps
to take, in terms of both an immediate response and a long-term plan,” U Zaw Htay
said.

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1/10/2019 President Convenes Top-Level Security Meeting in Wake of AA Attacks

“Following the attacks, the President’s Office has instructed the Defense Ministry
[which oversees the Army] to increase troop deployments in the areas where the police
stations were attacked on Friday and to use aircraft if necessary. The Tatmadaw is
following these instructions, as well as carrying out military operations against AA
insurgents,” the spokesman said.

He accused the AA of “taking advantage” of the fact that Rakhine State is being
watched closely by the international community in the wake of military operations
against the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, which conducted deadly coordinated
attacks against security forces in 2016 and 2017.

The government’s Peace Commission has been holding informal talks with the AA,
which—along with two others groups, the Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army and the
Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—pledged a month ago to enter political
negotiations and give up its armed struggle.

The Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw)’s unilateral ceasefire announced on Dec. 22 did
not apply to its Western Military Command in Rakhine State, apparently intensifying the
current armed conflict between it and the AA.

Topics: AA, Conflict, National Defense and Security Council, Rakhine, Security, Tatmadaw

The Irrawaddy
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