Myanmar coup leader and military Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (L) participates in a parade during the 76th Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 27 March 2021. EPA-EFE FILE/STRINGER

Offensive against Myanmar junta achieves new victories as it spreads west

Bangkok, Nov 13 (EFE).- The Arakan Army, which is part of the opposition offensive that has achieved notable victories in recent weeks in the north and northeast of Myanmar, captured two border bases on Monday, extending the fighting to the west of the country.

The Arakan Army (AA), which is part of the Brotherhood Alliance along with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), launched the attacks Monday morning and managed occupy two border bases in Rakhine state, according to local media.

The bases captured by the AA forces, made up of ethnic Rakhine rebels, are located on the Angumaw-Maungdaw highway and in Chang Kha Lain, according to the Border News Agency and Narinjara News.

The fighting in Rakhine has caused residents in the towns of Ratithaung and Buthidaung to flee, although the number of those displaced is unknown.

Since the Brotherhood Alliance launched Operation 1027 in northeastern Shan State, referring to its start date Oct. 27, its forces have captured more than 140 military objectives near the Chinese border in Kokang region.

The alliance, with the collaboration of other groups such as the Kachin Independence Army and the people’s defense forces, have also achieved several victories in Sagaing.

Operation 1027 has been described by several analysts as the largest armed challenge yet against the military junta that took power in a coup in 2021.

The offensive was launched in Kokang, where thousands of victims of human trafficking, including citizens of China and Thailand, have been forced to participate in cyber scams, which has caused anger on the part of the Chinese government.

Some 90,000 people have been displaced since the offensive began more than two weeks ago, many of whom have sought shelter in religious buildings or with relatives, while others have moved to the Chinese border, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported last Friday.

According to the UN agency, at least 17 civilians have been killed and 39 wounded during this offensive.

The 2021 military coup put an end to a decade of democratic transition and the elected government of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been imprisoned since.

This coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social and economic crisis and has opened a spiral of violence that has exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare in the country with the emergence of new anti-junta militias. EFE