Myanmar Engulfed by Fighting in Two-Thirds of the Country (UN)

Myanmar Engulfed by Fighting in Two-Thirds of the Country (UN)

Sawako Utsumi and Chika Mori

Modern Tokyo Times

The United Nations Humanitarian Affairs office reports that the conflict in Myanmar now engulfs two-thirds of the country. This is a shocking statistic even by the standards of a nation that is blighted by military conflict and authoritarian rule decade after decade (a brief window of democracy was crushed).

Hence, with the Three Brotherhood Alliance challenging the armed forces of Myanmar to a higher level, this bleak figure might grow if other areas fall to anti-government forces. Accordingly, with border areas between Myanmar and India and Myanmar and China coming under mounting pressure and controlled by non-central forces – fresh military arms and the economic angle will put further strains on the military elites.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, “Ongoing armed clashes, airstrikes, landmines, arbitrary arrests and roadblocks are rapidly increasing protection risks for civilians and are severely restricting the movement of essential goods, as well as people seeking places of safety.”

Over 575,000 people have been displaced since late October after intense clashes between the armed forces and the Three Brotherhood Alliance – and other forces opposed to the military leadership – increased dramatically.

UN News reports, “The latest displacements add to some two million people displaced since the junta usurped the democratically elected government in February 2021.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “Under the leadership of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, the country was on the path to democracy. However, since her arrest – and the crushing of political dissent after the military usurped democracy – Myanmar is unraveling. Henceforth, the Three Brotherhood Alliance and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) are pressuring the military elites to a level unseen.

Reuters reports, “The military, which seized power from an elected government in a 2021 coup, is battling a coordinated offensive launched … by an alliance of three ethnic minority insurgent groups, as well as allied pro-democracy fighters who have taken up arms since the coup.”

Central forces under the military have been rocked by the Three Brotherhood Alliance consisting of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Arakan Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)  – along with the PDF and improvised drone warfare – which are collectively upping the ante against the state apparatus of Myanmar.

The Irrawaddy reports, “Many types of commercial drones have been used widely and effectively by resistance groups and allied ethnic armed organizations nationwide to bomb regime targets and surveillance operations.”

If the power dynamics of the armed forces within the body politic of Myanmar don’t change, the blood will continue to flow. On top of this, without the concept of national unity under the banner of democracy, the threat of disintegration is likely to increase.

Compromises are needed even if mutual loathing and distrust exist. If not, the crisis in Myanmar will continue to spiral. Therefore, guarantees are needed by all sides – and not revenge.

The final aims concern the democratic path, preserving the territorial integrity of Myanmar, and implementing regional political structures that are inclusive to all ethnic and religious groups.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News