Arakan Army Abducted Two Monks in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

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News Desk

The Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed group engaged in active fighting with the Myanmar military, has abducted two Buddhist monks and two novices in Mrauk-U Township of Rakhine State in western Myanma on 18 August, according to local residents.

The AA abducted U Wunna Thara, the abbot of Myo Oo Kaung Monastery; U Dhamma Piya, the abbot of Shwe Si Wa Monastery; and two novices in Let Kauk Zay Ward in Mrauk-U at midnight on 18 August for allegedly recruiting for the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), according to U Kay Ya Wuntha, the abbot of La Kyi Taung Monastery in the same ward.

Based along Myanmar’s borders with Bangladesh and India, the ALP and its armed wing, the Arakan Liberation Army, are an ethnic Rakhine revolutionary group formed in 1967 to fight for equality for the ethnic group. The ALP signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in 2015 and is participating in the peace process.

It is to be mentioned that this is the first time monks have been abducted by the AA and they were abducted from monasteries in urban areas. A layperson at Myo Oo Kaung Monastery who witnessed the abduction said that on condition of anonymity that seven people wearing plain clothes blindfolded the monks and took them away, and also searched the room of U Wunna Thara.

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