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Myanmar’s Civil War Has Already Begun

14 56 20
19.04.2021

Min Ko Naing, a veteran political activist, and a leading figure behind Myanmar’s Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the legitimate interim government opposing the junta, has put it clearly: Activists opposed to the junta should go to territories held by allied ethnic armed organizations in the southeast. “These territories will become ‘free zones’ where they can continue the fight against the military together with ethnic minorities. Those who remain in the cities will continue their fight by guerrilla protests,” he told Radio Free Asia.

Myanmar is looking at civil war – or, actually a major escalation of the civil wars that the country has experienced since independence – between the junta which took power in the February 1 coup and the broad umbrella of CRPH and ethnic minority organizations that have just formed a National Unity Government (NUG). Few people now believe in a negotiated agreement. The reason is simple: neither has any incentive to compromise.

The junta, having killed over 700 protesters and civilians know there is no way it can walk away from this coup. For now, the coup leaders remain firmly in control of the armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, as long as they do not compromise. Once they start losing, there is little to prevent the second tier of generals from tossing them out and seeking a better deal for themselves.

The CRPH is similarly locked into confrontation. Its new ethnic allies are suspicious that the National League for Democracy, the ruling party ousted on February 1, will sell them out if presented with a chance at compromise so the CRPH needs to demonstrate firmness. Its political base is........

© The Diplomat


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