The Arakan Army (AA) insurgents were removed from the list of terrorist groups by Myanmar’s military junta as the faction has stopped attacks and in order to help establish peace across the country, state media reported. The AA, had agreed upon a temporary ceasefire in November.
“The designation of this group as a terrorist group is terminated from March 11, 2021,” The state-run Mirror Daily said, citing the end of a attacks and the junta’s vision of building “nationwide eternal peace”.
The AA was fighting for greater autonomy in the western Rakhine state and over the past two years had become one of the most formidable forces in challenging an army that has been fighting various ethnic wars for some seven decades.
The move comes at a time the army is struggling to contain daily protests against its Feb. 1 coup in which elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown.
The AA had been placed on the list of terrorist groups last year under Suu Kyi’s government.
While more than two dozen ethnic armed groups have criticised the coup and even shown support for anti-coup protesters, the AA had not voiced support for the protesters and there have been very few protests in Rakhine state
The AA’s ranks are largely drawn from the ethnic Rakhine and Buddhist majority in what was an independent kingdom until the 18th century.