New reports, numbers reveal fragile situation . . .
On Wednesday, a bomb exploded at a bus stop in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, killing at least one person and wounding several others. The military government and opposition forces blamed each other for the deadly attack, the latest of many across the embattled country. A new Amnesty International report found that the military has systematically committed atrocities against civilians in Kayin and Kayah states near the Thai border. According to the latest data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the number of internally displaced people in Myanmar has exceeded one million – 700,000 of whom have been displaced since the military coup in February 2021. The junta has killed nearly 1,900 people since the coup.
Junta revives ‘pacifying’ strategy . . .
While reports of military atrocities in ethnic areas continue to emerge, the junta has recently invited several leaders of ethnic armed organizations to peace talks. This tactic is not new – the military government has often entered ceasefire agreements with armed groups to prevent ethnic insurgents from joining hands with anti-junta resistance forces and to legitimize the regime. Although several ethnic armed organizations have participated in the military-led peace talks, others are not ready to give up their struggle against the regime. Critics doubt that neither genuine peace nor significant political breakthroughs will emerge and instead expect a prolongation of the armed struggle between parties with competing interests.
Gap between international efforts, reality on the ground . . .
Last Friday, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council statement that expressed concern about the limited progress of the ASEAN-led Five Point Consensus plan to end violence in Myanmar more than a year after it was signed. The proposed statement stressed the central role of ASEAN and the UN Special Envoy to Myanmar. It encouraged close co-ordination between the two, who are expected to make an official trip to Myanmar next month. Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government, along with several other ethnic armed groups, said that ASEAN and UNOCHA did not consider their request to halt the delivery of humanitarian aid through the military government, which they warned would be used by the regime instead of being delivered to communities in need.
- The Diplomat: Ethnic armed groups eye post-coup Myanmar
- Fulcrum: Beware of false peace in Myanmar
- The Irrawaddy: Myanmar’s NUG, allied EAOs urge ASEAN, UN not to work with junta on aid