January 8, 2018

A gradual military build up is underway in response to an ARSA attack on the Taungpyo Bali Bazaar road, reports our correspondents in Maungdaw.

On Sunday, sources said military was supervising the unloading of equipment from a big ship off the river near Dar Gua Bil in Northern Maungdaw.

Since Saturday, multiple sources from different villages including Bali Bazaar, and Northern Maungdaw villages have expressed fears the villages are being cordoned off and the military might be prepraing for an attack on unarmed villagers.

The Northern Maungdaw villages were previously pounded in 2016, when ARSA made its first presence on the ground. The latest military carckdown has also taken a tremendous toll on these villages, with much of the population escaping to Bangladesh.

One source has however said it was uneccessary for the military to bring in added reinforcements as current forces are enough to carry out brutal offensives against the sparsely populated villages which in any case lack modern weapons to fight back.

The latest offensive involved the use of a few soldiers using intense firepower and heavy weapons against human habitats. ARSA and Rohingya villagers, lacking even the minimal firepower were unable to offer any resistance in face of the offensives.