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Author Topic: Commentary: As Myanmar coup persists, ethnic armed groups come under greater pre  (Read 59 times)


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Commentary: As Myanmar coup persists, ethnic
armed groups come under greater pressure to act

Since the Myanmar military’s Feb 1 coup, the Tatmadaw has สล็อตออนไลน์ killed
more than 500 civilians across the country.

This has heightened conversations about the role of Ethnic Armed Organisations
(EAOs) in the future of the country — when, if at all, will they intervene against
the military coup?

Observers and activists of the civil disobedience movement and civilian
resistance to the military coup have called for broad multi-ethnic unity that
draws on a variety of groups and actors from all ethnicities and regions.

The militarised version of this argument seeks the involvement of the country’s
20 or so EAOs in a collective bid to put military pressure on the Tatmadaw from
all fronts, even invoking the spirit of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P),
an international norm authorising force to protect civilians from crimes against

There has also been speculative talk of a Federal Army that combines EAO
elements and Burmese resistors into a collective armed uprising.

Myanmar’s insurgent EAOs, located mainly in the peripheral highlands of
the country, number around 80,000 in fighting strength.

By comparison, estimates of the size of Tatmadaw forces are said to reach
400,000. Still, EAOs like the Arakan Army (AA) and the Kachin Independence
Army (KIA) have caused notable problems for the Tatmadaw in recent years
through military operations.

While the EAOs had not been initially forthcoming in their support for
the resistance, statements condemning the coup or calling for the protection
of civilians are growing. The Karen National Union (KNU), the Restoration
Council of Shan State (RCSS), and the New Mon State Party (NMSP),
and the KIA have condemned the military coup, offering protection to
protesters fleeing security forces.

A natural explanation for this reticence is that many EAOs are lying low and
not throwing in their lot with either side at this stage.

Statements of support for the coup will change little — it builds no reliable
capital with the Tatmadaw; it will only make enemies with the Myanmar
people. Strong statements condemning the coup run the risk of creating
grudges with the notoriously vindictive military which might well prevail.

Another explanation is that the EAOs remain detached from what they see
as the Burmans’ fight — seven decades of civil war and the marginalisation
of ethnic minorities at the country’s borders have left them suspicious of
any calls for solidarity led by the Bamar majority — civilian or otherwise.
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