An ethnic Khumi group accused the Arakan Army (AA) of kidnapping a politician, a pastor and another civilian, and threatening others that are helping displaced villagers in Paletwa town in southern Chin State.
According to a statement by Khumi Affairs Coordinating Committee (KACC), AA abducted Aung Pa, 40, and Len Van, 48, in the evening on April 10. Myint Maung, from the Paletwa municipal committee, was taken in the evening on April 12.
“We released the statement because we wanted everyone to know about it. AA shouldn’t kidnap civilians,” Saw Mya, the chairman of KACC, told Khonumthung News.
Threatening Chin community leaders is blocking efforts to help villagers displaced by fighting between the Burma Army and AA, said the statement. The government needs to ensure that Chins and other ethnic groups are protected.
At press time, AA didn’t release information about the kidnappings. Khonumthung News was unable to contact its spokesperson without breaking the law after the government declared AA a terrorist group last month.
There are about 3,700 displaced villagers displaced by fighting in Paletwa town. The numbers have been increasing in the last few weeks following an uptick in fighting between the Burma Army and AA.
Twenty-six humanitarian organizations have asked the Burmese government to restore access to telecommunications that have been blocked in Paletwa township. “The restoration of full telecommunications access is essential in supporting humanitarian efforts to save lives and protect vulnerable communities against the potentially catastrophic impact of COVID-19,” said Save the Children in a statement on its website.