Last week in the East Asia Pacific region, fighting continued between the Myanmar military and the United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA) in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin states. The military killed several civilians during raids in Rakhine and Chin states, as well as in Sagaing region. In the Philippines, fighting erupted between state forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). North Korea continued to conduct weapons tests. In South Korea, protests condemning the government over a crowd crush incident in Itaewon continued.
In Myanmar, the military and the ULA/AA engaged in intense fighting across Ann, Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Minbya, Ponnagyun, and Sittwe townships in Rakhine state and Paletwa township in neighboring Chin state. On 10 November, the ULA/AA attacked two military convoys with mines in Ponnagyun township, which killed at least 10 soldiers and led to a clash (Democratic Voice of Burma, 10 November 2022). In response, the military raided Sin Inn Gyi village in Ponnagyun township and reportedly killed nine civilians. The ULA/AA said it would retaliate against those responsible for the killings (Myanmar Now, 15 November 2022). Fighting between the military and ULA/AA has increased since July. These trends contribute to the 394% increase in average weekly violent events in Rakhine state in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. The Subnational Tracker also warned of increased violence in Rakhine state during the preceding four weeks.
Elsewhere, in Chin state, the military, allegedly dressed as members of a local resistance group, raided Pa Lon Twi village in Mindat township on 7 November, reportedly killing civilians (Myanmar Now, 11 November 2022). Nine victims went missing during the military raid, including six IDPs who had fled from the nearby Yaw area of Magway region due to fighting. Locals found burned human remains after the military left the village on 10 November.
In Sagaing region, local resistance groups attacked the military in Htan Lay Pin village in Monywa township, leading to a clash resulting in fatalities on both sides (Democratic Voice of Burma, 7 November 2022). During fighting in the region beginning the previous week, the military and Pyu Saw Htee members raided villages on the east bank of Chindwin river. The military took 15 people hostage, with 12 bodies later found near Htan Lay Pin village; three people remain missing (Myanmar Now, 8 November 2022).
Last week in the Philippines, fighting erupted between state forces and the MILF in BARMM. From 8 to 10 November, the military and MILF militants clashed over three days in Barangay Ulitan, Ungkaya Pukan town, resulting in the death of at least three soldiers and four MILF militants. According to the military, the fighting broke out following a disagreement over the MILF’s bearing of arms and its alleged support of armed groups that the military is conducting clearing operations against (Manila Bulletin, 10 November 2022). It was the first clash between the two parties since April this year. Over 1,000 families fled the area due to the fighting (Rappler, 10 November 2022). The government and MILF peace panels coordinated a ceasefire agreement that was signed on 10 November (Philippine News Agency, 11 November 2022).
Meanwhile, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters clashed with state forces between 4 and 8 November in Basilan province, with one soldier reportedly killed on 4 November. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in BARMM during the preceding four weeks.
North Korea continued to carry out weapons tests last week for the fifth consecutive week. On 5 November, North Korea test-fired four short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the country’s west coast, before launching a short-range ballistic missile into the sea off the country’s east coast on 9 November. This activity came after South Korea held annual command post exercises to increase operational capabilities (AP, 9 November 2022).
In South Korea, a series of vigil protests continued last week, condemning the government over the deadly 30 October Itaewon crowd crush incident. Demonstrators criticized the government’s lack of accountability and demanded that authorities investigate the cause of the crush and hold those responsible accountable.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED. Use the date filters to view data for the one-week period covered by this Regional Overview.