Three Brotherhood Alliance Pressurizes Myanmar Army
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
The leadership of Myanmar is under increasing pressure after recent military setbacks against the Three Brotherhood Alliance.
Authoritarianism and ethnic conflicts have blighted Myanmar for decades – with only the brief democratic window under former State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi providing hope.
The military elites who usurped the power mechanisms of Myanmar under the revered Aung San Suu Kyi have endangered the nation-state. Henceforth, the PDF (People’s Defense Force) and alliances between powerful ethnic groups in Myanmar are putting enormous pressure on government forces.
This notably concerns recent military losses in the environs of the border area with China concerning the Shan state region.
Last week, political and military elites in Myanmar warned that the nation-state faced the possibility of breaking up unless the armed forces can stem recent military setbacks.
Voice of America reports, “Conflict in Shan State, in the northeast bordering China, has displaced at least 50,000 people, with trade routes cut off and several towns seized since an anti-junta offensive launched last month by three ethnic minority insurgent groups.”
In another military setback, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army claims to have taken all strategic vantage points in Kunlong (northern Shan State).
The Irrawaddy reports, “Since Oct. 27, the alliance and allied anti-regime resistance forces have overrun many junta military positions in northern Shan State and neighboring Sagaing Region. So far they have seized more than 130 outposts as well as towns like Hseni and Chin Shwe Haw near the Chinese border, among others.”
In the state of Kayah, the areas of Demoso, Loikaw, Nan Mal San, and Nam Mal Khon have come under attack in recent days by the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force and other allies against the armed forces of Myanmar.
Lee Jay Walker says, “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 – are upping the ante against the state apparatus of Myanmar.”
Reuters reports, “Alarmed by its neighbor’s deteriorating situation, China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Beijing will ensure security and stability at its border with Myanmar and urged all parties there to stop fighting immediately.”
China’s role remains murky because political elites in Beijing have good relations with the military leadership of Myanmar and various ethnic groups opposed to central forces along the border.
The BBC reports, “What makes this attack even more significant is that it marks the first time that the well-armed insurgents operating in Shan State have explicitly aligned themselves and their military operations with the wider campaign to overthrow the junta and restore democratic rule.”
The Three Brotherhood Alliance said they are “dedicated to eradicating the oppressive military dictatorship, a shared aspiration of the entire Myanmar population.”
Myanmar looks set for continuing bloodshed and endless economic hardship – unless the military talks openly with Aung San Suu Kyi to somehow break the impasse of mutual distrust – and hatred in many quarters. Even then, forces opposing the military elites might deem it too late.
Lee Jay Walker says, “Indeed, Myanmar faces disintegration – similar to what happened to the former Yugoslavia – under the prevailing conditions. Hence, a military counter-attack by the armed forces of Myanmar looks set to happen. However, the outcome remains uncertain.”
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