The Arakan Army (AA) is set to work with Myanmar military junta on issues related to prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 in Rakhine State. This statement comes to the public amidst the ongoing conflict raging through in many ethnic areas such as Chin State, Kachin, Karen and Karenni.
Khine Thu Kha, a spokesperson of AA said, “AA will work with any organization on prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 in Rakhine State as this is an important public health issue,” RFA reported yesterday.
Prior to this, the Myanmar military junta reportedly offered AA to provide forty thousand doses of Sinopharm, COVID-19 vaccines developed by a Chinese state-owned company. “However, AA is thinking of prioritizing vaccination the general public instead of its soldiers,” the spokesperson told the RFA (Radio Free Asia).
Founded in 2009, AA is one of the most formidable ethnic armed groups that has been fighting for greater autonomy in Rakhine State against the Myanmar military.
The group was listed as a terrorist organization on 23 March 2020, but the military junta removed the group from its list of the terrorist group on 11 March this year, a month after the February coup.
Last week, the Arakan Army’s leader Twan Mart Naing also said that the Arakan Army is considering including the Muslim community in their administrative mechanism during an interview with Development Media Group (DMG), based in Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine.