Myanmar: Offensive of the people against the military regime

Featured image: The bridge of Donthami destroyed by the resistance forces. Source: Asia Times.

Since the month of April, the opposition forces to the military regime of Myanmar are launching a big military offensive in the territory of national minorities and in the important cities of the State. This offensive was announced at the beginning of the year. There are many national liberation movements who have been doing armed struggle against the old State of Myanmar for many years, even before of the arrival of the military regime. The offensive has also hit the plans of the military regime, who wanted to legitimatize its government by celebrating elections in this year.

Myanmar has faced numerous civil wars since its independence in the year 1948. In this State there is multiple national minorities struggling for their independence and there has been a lot of military regimes established to repress the people with the help of foreign imperialists. On the 1st of February of 2021, there was a new coup by the military, which triggered immediately many protests and the struggle of the masses. Since the beginning the old State of Myanmar repressed the protests of the people with a huge brutality, causing many massacres and thousands of detentions.

The resistance against the military regime has shown multiple kinds of struggle and actions of the people: spontaneous protests of all kind, sabotages to many economical and old State infrastructures, riots… and all of these actions have evolved to the current armed struggle. Few months after the coup and the beginning of the protests, the masses of Myanmar understood that they need to intensify the armed struggle, and many youths joined the guerrillas in the countryside and in the cities. Just one year after the coup, the mainstream media explained that this resistance in the countryside and the city was transformed into a civil war against the military regime.

Since the beginning of the armed struggle in Myanmar, the places with more presence of troops of the resistance and with more armed actions against the military regime are the territories of the national minorities. Specifically these territories are Kachi, Chin, Sagaing, Kayah, Kayin, Mon and Tanintharyi. Besides these ones, we can add the central lowlands, where the masses of the people are firmly joining the struggle for their democratic rights against the military regime.

Statistics of the types of armed actions carried out from February of 2021 until today. Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The head of the military regime, Min Aung Hlang, regarding the resistance, stated that “terrorism” is decaying and there are less actions of this type. However he announced also the extension of the state of emergency again, and also stated that the government needs to continue working hard for the public security and with the goal to pressure the areas of Sagaing, Kayah and Chin. These three territories is where the intensity of the guerrilla actions is higher in the last months, and also where the repression by the military regime is the most intense.

The military regime is trying to fix the crisis by intensifying the terror against the people of Myanmar and the genocidal policy against the national minorities in the territories that are out of control. The military regime is portraying horrendous atrocities. Precisely due to this intensifying of terror, there are reports which are pointing out that thousands of soldiers and policemen are defecting from the military regime and hiding themselves with other civilian people, or even joining the troops of the resistance.

Administrative map of the old State of Myanmar. Source: web nationsonline

The masses are also intensifying the resistance in the last months with a clear increase of the armed actions from the month of April until the month of July. Specifically, these months, the areas with a higher number of armed actions and more relevance are Sagaing, Chin and Kayah. These three places are fundamental because the central lowlands and the capital city are being besieged by the guerrillas of these territories, and also the struggle is being expanded from these places to other territories controlled by the military regime. Also there are a big number of actions in other places as Kayin or Mon. Carrying out joint actions between different groups is something that was not common before.

In the month of June the struggle in Kayah is highlighted, a region affected a lot by the civil war, and a region where the government is imposing constantly a policy of terror. This territory is near to the capital of the country, and is an area where the militias are causing hard defeats to the army of the military regime, and above all, is a territory with decades of national liberation struggle by the Karenni people. In Kayah there is a decisive battle since months ago, but specially intensive since the month of June with a new offensive launched. At the beginning of June, the militias destroyed a decisive bridge for the communications between the most important city for the economy of the country, Yangon, and the territory of Kaya. There are reports of attacks on other bridges, highways and railways which are connecting Yangon with the capital of Myanmar, Naypyidaw, and against police stations. Besides that, in this territory there are militias who have changed sides and abandoned the military regime to be with the people, due to the atrocities committed by the military regime.

In July, there is a place to be highlighted, Chin, where the guerrillas against the military regime have opened a new front, trying to expand the armed resistance until Rakhine, a “calm” territory until now. Between Chin and Rakhine, the military regime is losing numerous soldiers and launching new military deployments.

In Sagaing and Kachin, the military regime is starting many military efforts and there will be an arrival of 1.000 soldiers to these regions, in order to try to raid the bases of the resistance in these places.

In the most important city for the economy of the country, Yangon, there are reports of guerrilla actions with up to 12 bomb explosions against objects linked to the military regime, like governmental buildings, police stations, places with relevance for communication, etc.

Map indicating all the actions done from the month of April until the month of July. This also includes the sort of actions. Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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