A coalition of Chin civil society organizations issued a statement demanding for the Arakan Army (AA) to stop disturbing development projects promoting regional stability in Paletwa township, in southern Chin state, in an area where the Rakhine armed group is fighting with the Myanmar Army.
The statement issued by the Chin CSOs Network said Chin and Rakhine ethnic groups have lived peacefully together in Paletwa region for many years. Chin people are patient and they understand the AA’s armed struggle but that the armed group’s latest actions are upsetting the peace.
“AA forces are causing instability and it’s creating barriers for developing the region,” said the statement.
“We want our Chin state to be stable and peaceful, especially in Paletwa where it’s very remote and impoverished.”
We need these development projects, said Yarkot Thang, leader of Chin CSOs Network. The AA shouldn’t have blocked the Kalandan River bridge construction and other projects.
In March, the AA torched a cargo ship carrying over 300 tonnes of steel for the bridge planned on the Kalandan River in Paletwa township.
The armed group also arrested eight construction workers from Su-Htoo-San company, contracted to build a road connecting Paletwa to the Indian border. The arrests halted construction.
Chin CSOs Network wants the government to resume its development projects in Paletwa township and continue providing assistance to civilians displaced by fighting between the Myanmar Army and AA.
The network, made up of one-hundred CSOs, was formed in 2014.