Fighting will continue if the Myanmar military launches offensive attacks against the Arakan Army (AA) in northern Arakan State, U Khaing Thukha, a spokesperson for the ethnic armed group, told DMG on Wednesday.
“What happens next depends on the Myanmar military. If the Myanmar military continues to attack us, fighting is likely to intensify,” said the AA spokesman, referring to recent hostilities in a long-dormant armed conflict.
The two sides clashed for a few minutes on November 9 when the Myanmar military entered an area near Wailar Hill where AA fighters are stationed in the north of Maungdaw Township.
Details on casualties were not immediately known, said U Khaing Thukha. According to U Khaing Thukha, negotiations are currently underway through intermediaries, and as of November 10, military tensions between the two sides remained high.
Concerns are growing among the residents of Tamanthar and Yay Nauk Ngar Thar villages, near the area where the fighting broke out.
Regionally, speculation grows that the conflict could spread beyond Maungdaw to Arakan State as a whole if the fighting continues.
Two years of fighting between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in Arakan State began at the end of 2018 and ended around October 2020, in total forcing more than 200,000 people to flee their homes.
There had been no clashes between the military and Arakan Army for about a year, with the fighting in Maungdaw Township on November 9 marking a notable resumption of hostilities.