Myanmar Armed forces chief allege ‘strong forces’ behind terrorism in country

Myanmar Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has claimed that terrorist groups in Myanmar exists because of the “strong forces that support them”.
While he did not name forces but observers indicated that he referred to Chinese support for some insurgent groups in Myanmar.
His remarks came as he attended Russia’s 75th anniversary of the country’s Victory Day.
During the visit Gen Min Aung Hlaing held talks with India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on how to promote ties between their countries’ armed forces, border security and counter-insurgency operations along the border.
When asked by a Russian news agency about terrorism in Myanmar, the military chief said, “A country may be able to suppress terrorist organizations on its soil. But in cases when there are strong forces behind that terrorist organization, the country alone may not be able to handle it.”
He stressed the need for cooperation between partners and countries that oppose terrorism, saying that it is otherwise difficult to combat terrorist organizations.
The military chief was clearly referring to the Arakan Army (AA) and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), Myanmar military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun later clarified.
When asked about Myanmar military’s plan to fight ARSA, the military chief said, “We have to cut off factors that contribute to their existence. We have to make sure they can’t get recruits, weapons, funds or popular support by exposing their true colors. It requires wide-ranging approaches.”
The Myanmar military has excluded Rakhine State, where the AA and ARSA are active, from unilateral countrywide ceasefires, which it has declared on multiple occasions to facilitate peace talks with ethnic armed organizations.
The Myanmar government has termed both groups as terrorist organizations.
It is pertinent to mention here that the AA has not disrupted any Chinese development projects in Myanmar, but has always disrupted the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project across the Mizoram border. According to sources, most of the weapons currently used by the AA came from China.