The Khumi Affairs Coordination Council (KACC) reported that the Arakan Army (AA) has been detaining four ethnic Chin youth in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw Township since July 29.
Mai Nang Wai, a KACC spokesperson, said that seven Chin youth were returning from Yangon to Paletwa Township in Chin State when they were stopped by the AA in Kyauktaw, and four were taken into AA custody. She added that one of those missing is Ai Aung Soe, who is working with a local civil society organization in Paletwa.
“As far as I know, they returned to Paletwa through Pi Chaung, Ngathareng village,” Mai Nang Wai said, referring to a route that required travel on an unofficial road through the jungle. “They stopped for a while in Ngathareng village to have a meal. They were questioned earlier at the Kyauktaw river port as their boat was leaving, but they didn’t think much of it. When they arrived in Ngathareng village, the AA arrested four youth and released three others.”
Ngathareng is an ethnic Rakhine village located between Kyauktaw town in Rakhine State and Paletwa town in southern Chin State. AA troops have been known to be active in the area.
The four missing Chin youth are from the villages of Ngashar, Nongbu and Kakuwa in Paletwa Township. No one has had contact with them since they were allegedly taken by the AA.
The AA has not commented on the case, but the KACC released a statement about it on July 30. They have reported it to the government authorities.
In June, a Paletwa-based Chin man Hla Kyaw was arrested in Ngathareng village, and his body was found on July 17. It is unknown who killed him.