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Twan Mrat Naing

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Twan Mrat Naing
General Twan Mrat Naing at 229th anniversary of Fall of Arakanese Sovereignty on 31 December 2013
Born (1978-11-07) 7 November 1978 (age 45)
Akyab, Arakan State, Burma
AllegianceArakha Army
Service/branchArakha Army
Years of service2009–present
RankMajor General
Commands heldCommander-in-Chief, Arakha Army
Battles/warsInternal conflict in Myanmar
Spouse(s)Hnin Zar Phyu (?- present )
ChildrenSaw Prae Shun, Mrat Lurn Zan

Major General Twan Mrat Naing, also spelled Tun Myat Naing (Arakanese:ထွန်းမြတ်နိုင်), is an Arakanese revolutionary and commander in chief of the Arakha Army, an ethnic armed organization.[1][2][3] Twan Mrat Naing has led the Arakan Army since its founding in 2009, and maintains the rank of Major General. Twan Mrat Naing is of Arakanese descent and resides in Laiza, Kachin State, where the Arakan Army's "temporary headquarters" are.

Early life

Naing was born in Akyab (now Sittwe), the state capital of Rakhine State, on 7 November 1978.[citation needed]


Naing previously worked as a tour guide in Yangon.[4] In 1998, he planned to join the National United Party of Arakan but their general was killed in action. After returning to Rakhine where he studied at Technological University, Sittwe.

In 2004, he collaborated with Nyo Twan Awng (also known as Zaw Myo Thet), a surgeon doctor who is now a Vice Commander in-Chief of Arakha Army.[citation needed] In 2009, they founded the Arakan Army. While mining for jade in Kachin State, he recruited disaffected Arakanese Buddhists to his insurgent group.[5] He was one of twenty-six men to form the Arakan Army with support from the Kachin Independence Army.

In June 2022, military spokespeople from the State Administration Council said that provocative rhetoric from Twan Mrat Naing as the leader of the Arakan Army was inviting conflict.[6] The informal ceasefire between AA and the junta would breakdown after an junta airstike on an AA base in Kayin State.[7]

Arrests by the Myanmar government

On 10 July 2019, Aung Mrat Kyaw, Twan Mrat Naing's younger brother, along with five Arakanese were detained by the Singaporean government and deported to Myanmar, where they were arrested shortly after arriving. Singapore's home ministry said they had organized and mobilized some members of the Myanmar community in Singapore to support the Arakan Army, and its political wing, the United League of Arakan.[8][9]

On 18 October 2019, the younger sister of Twan Mrat Naing, Moe Hnin Phyu and her husband, Kyaw Naing, were arrested at the Yangon International Airport after they returned from Chiang Mai, Thailand and are currently being questioned. They are accused of having the connection with the seizure of explosive devices in Mandalay according to Zaw Htay, the spokesperson of the State Counsellor's Office.

On 6 December 2019, Twan Mrat Naing's wife Hnin Zar Phyu and her two children were detained by Thai immigration officials in Chiang Mai, when she went there to extend her visa.[10] The Chiang Mai office of the Thailand Immigration Bureau arrested her due to the presence of her name on the list of people affiliated with the Arakan Army, which was provided by the Myanmar government. On 25 February 2020, the detained family left for Switzerland under the political asylum initiated by the UNHCR.[11][12]

On 9 June 2021, Aung Myat Kyaw, Moe Hnin Phyu and her husband were released from prison after all charges against them were dropped. The release happened after the Tatmadaw took power in a coup d'état earlier that year.[13]

Personal life

Twan Mrat Naing is married to Hnun Zar Phru (Hnin Zar Phyu in Burmese). The couple have two children, a daughter, Saw Prae Shun, and a son, Mrat Lurn Zan.[10] Twan Mrat Naing's father-in-law is San Kyaw Hla, the speaker of the Rakhine State Hluttaw and an Arakan National Party (ANP) politician.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "About AA". Arakan Army. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Arakan Army Leaders". Arakan Army. Archived from the original on 24 June 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  3. ^ "ETHNIC LEADERS HAVE THEIR SAY – PART 1". Karen News. Archived from the original on 18 July 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  4. ^ Group, International Crisis (2021). "Rakhine: A Test Run for Repression". Myanmar's Military Struggles to Control the Virtual Battlefield: Page 4–Page 10.
  5. ^ "Explainer: The insurgents plunging Myanmar's Rakhine back into chaos". Reuters. 15 January 2019. Archived from the original on 7 December 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  6. ^ Kean, Thomas (7 June 2022). "Arakan Army on Collision Course with the Military in Myanmar's Rakhine State". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 22 March 2024. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  7. ^ Kyaw Hsan Hlaing (3 October 2022). "Insurgents in Myanmar's Rakhine State Return to War on the Military". US Institute of Peace. Archived from the original on 29 November 2023.
  8. ^ "Myanmar citizens deported from Singapore over alleged insurgent ties remanded in custody". Reuters. 26 July 2019. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021.
  9. ^ "AA Chief's Brother, Several Arakanese Arrested in Singapore". The Irrawaddy. 10 July 2019. Archived from the original on 3 December 2022.
  10. ^ a b c "Spouse and children of AA chief arrested in Chiang Mai". Burma News International. Archived from the original on 28 February 2024. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Wife, Children of Leader of Myanmar's Arakan Army Detained in Thailand". The Irrawaddy. 6 December 2019. Archived from the original on 28 February 2024.
  12. ^ "AA chief's wife, children left for Switzerland". Narinjara. 26 February 2020. Archived from the original on 28 February 2024.
  13. ^ "Myanmar Junta Drops Charges Against Arakan Army Chief's Relatives". 10 June 2021. Archived from the original on 30 November 2023.
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Twan Mrat Naing
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