Kyauktaw Massacre: Retreated Tatmadaw families (estimated 900) exterminated by vicious Arakan Army
Written by Tun Mon Thet
Tragic information was initially reported on early morning of 9 February that three vessels (ferries and landing crafts) that rescued the family members of Tatmadawmen primarily involved vulnerable groups such as children, women and elders who abandoned the fallen security outposts in Kyauktaw Town, Rakhine State were attacked in the middle of the Kaladan River near Apaukwa Village located in Kyauktaw Township by the extremist Rakhine insurgents ‘Arakan Army - AA’.
The information was confirmed on 10 February.
At least 900 lives were brutally massacred by the extremist AA troops on 8 February.
Reports stated that the extremist AA troops attacked three ferries and landing crafts of the Myanmar military with drop bombs, launchers and heavy weapons from the villages located on the bank of the Kaladan River in Kyauktaw Town.
The AA troops committed this massacre despite acknowledging that these are the rescue vessels carrying unarmed and injured individuals, and dependent families such as wives of the Tatmadawmen and border guard police, their parents (elders), children, pregnant women, unarmed girls and boys, and medical personnel.
In this point, I would like to zoom in that these rescue vessels of the Myanmar Military were used in transporting supply of foods, medicines, rice and humanitarian aids for Rakhine State to provide the victims of Cyclone Mocha back in May and June of 2023. The vessels were also used in rescuing and evacuating the Rakhine ethnics of Mocha victims.
According to the information reported by the reliable sources, the extremist AA troops placed the large fish trapping nets in the river stretching them at the two sides of the river bank to capture the military rescue vessels stuck in the middle of the river. The blades of the crafts and ferries could not operate due to the large pipes of the fish trapping nets.
While the crafts are stuck in the river, the extremist AAs dropped bombs that are covered with fuel on the unmovable crafts, which caused intense explosion and fire outbreak on the vessels. Immediately, the extremist AAs fired heavy weapons and launchers targeting the crafts though the victims from the crafts shouted and signaled that ‘We are unarmed’, ‘There are children’. The murderous AA troops despite acknowledging there were vulnerable groups on the crafts did not stop and continued firing yelling ‘Stupid and f---ing children’. Such inhumane acts were captured by videos taken and uploaded by themselves, the AAs.
Since the vessels were ferry and landing crafts, there were no such firing weapons on the crafts. Besides, there were only less than twenty military personnel on all three vessels to guard and operate the rescue trip; and no guarding aircrafts nor guard ship were there.
Sadly though, the apocalypse has not finished here. Those, who survived from the craft explosion and sinking, swam to the bank of the river. The blood-thirsty AA troops slaughtered the victims with knives and guns. Some female victims were reportedly raped before being killed.
It was at least 900 persons, killed and slaughtered by the AA.
On 11 February, the extremist Arakan Army Info Desk claimed and announced the responsibility of exterminating Tatmadaw landing crafts (dependent families). The AA announced it has finished on 8 February. The insurgent groups also released the photos of destroyed Tatmadaw’s landing crafts they seized, but no survivors of the massacre could be revealed.
The Geneva Convention protects the Vulnerable in War especially those who are not or no longer participating in hostilities. Soldiers who are hors de combat, medical personnel, wounded and sick civilian support personnel accompanying the armed forces.
Reflecting the conditions at sea, the second Geneva Convention protects wounded and sick combatants while on board ship or at sea, armed forces members who are wounded, sick or shipwrecked, hospital ships and medical personnel, and civilians who accompany the armed forces.
Yet, 120 hours or 5 days after the hostile massacre happened, no embassy, United Nations and its affiliated entities, Human Right Watch and related organizations voice for the slaughter of at least 900 individuals.
The West group’s double standard Human Right criteria still neglects innocent lives in Myanmar. Instead, the West still watches to flame the conflict of Myanmar with fuel at any favourable point for them.
Myanmar Military declared the annulment of the Arakan Army from the terrorist list on 11 March 2021, in two months after the State Administration Council taking the office. Since then, armed conflicts did not emerge in Rakhine State. The Myanmar Military did not initiate the military assault though crossfire exchanging throughout the country. In late May 2023, when the Cyclone Mocha hit the Rakhine coastal area, Tatmadaw was the key rescue entity for the cyclone-hit Rakhine State.
Even the war has not initiated in the Rakhine State even when the Arakan Army involved in the Operation 1027 in northern Shan State. After temporary ceasefire was agreed in the northern Shan State, the Arakan Army and its affiliated armed forces MNDAA, TNLA and PDF terrorists created armed conflict in Rakhine State. --