tirsdag 1. juni 2021

Rise of armed civilian groups in Myanmar fuels fears of full-scale civil war

Myanmar is on the verge of a new civil war, a spokesperson for the country’s parallel government has warned, as communities increasingly take up arms to protect themselves from a relentless campaign of military violence. Conflict has raged for decades in Myanmar’s borderlands, where myriad ethnic armed groups are fighting with the military for greater autonomy. Since February’s coup, however, dozens of new, grassroots people’s defence forces have emerged to oppose the junta, with battles occurring in areas of the country that were previously peaceful.

“The people of Myanmar have been left with no other choice. They just have no other option left,” said Dr Sasa, spokesperson for Myanmar’s national unity government (NUG), which was set up by pro-democracy politicians. The constant threat of military raids, arrests, torture and killings had pushed communities to take up arms, he said.