Arakan Army Leader Urges Residents to Leave Sittwe and Kyaukphyu Before “Decisive Battle”

The leader of the Arakan Army (AA), Twam Mrat Naing, called for residents in Arakan State to prepare “for the decisive battle in the state” in a message that marked the 15th anniversary of the AA’s founding on April 10th.

In his message, Naing also urged residents “trapped in areas controlled by the enemy such as Sittwe and Kyaukphyu should move to the liberated areas soon. Necessary preparations must be made for the final battle.”

Naing also urged AA troops “to do whatever they can to protect the war-wrecked civilians in Arakan State, who are suffering as a result of junta’s indiscriminate attacks and blockade.”

The AA leader’s messages come as government forces continue to prevent residents from leaving the cities of Kyaukphyu and Sittwe. The government has blocked roads and waterways throughout Arakan State since November 2023, when the AA began operations in the state as part of the Three Brotherhood Alliance.