“The army pushed Myanmar to the brink of disaster in just a few weeks. More than 500 people were killed, and thousands were on the run,” the German foreign minister said.
After the military took power in Myanmar, the crisis appears to be bringing with it an uprising of ethnic armed groups, increasing the risk of conflict. The political upheaval in Myanmar and the turmoil it causes threaten to lead to a civil war in the Southeast Asian country, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday warned in an interview, according to DW news agency (Germany). “No country in the region wants Myanmar to be in a civil war,” – Foreign Minister Maas commented to Funke media. Many countries worldwide are increasing the pressure on Myanmar’s military leaders after they use violence to suppress protests against the coup and the military government. More than 550 civilians were killed, according to local media.
Since mid-February, clashes between KIO/A and the military have occurred almost daily in the northern Shan state. Clashes also broke out in four towns in Kachin state from March 11, prompting hundreds of people to leave their homes. A local leader in San Pya village, Hpakant town, told Al Jazeera that explosions and gunshots woke him up around 2:00 a.m. on March 15. About 3 hours later, a rocket-launched grenade (RPG) fell on the village, destroying a house. People continued to find unexploded ordnance later on on the street. At least 100 women and children in the village, where the predominantly Christian community is located, have to take shelter in nearby churches.
“If the fighting continues, even in the church, it won’t be safe. We, the people, have no weapons, so we are scared,” said the leader. Meanwhile, on March 16th, military commander Min Aung Hlaing said that the protests had “turned into riot and violence”. He also said the police force “is tasked with controlling demonstrations under democratic rules by exercising maximum restraint”, and that the military is “helping the police to be behind the scenes where needed. set to solve difficulties and obstacles.” The shooting, he said, was “to disband the protesters, leading to some members of the security forces and the casualties.”
KIO/A is one of the dozens of ethnic armed groups in Myanmar. More than 100,000 people had to leave their homes after a ceasefire collapsed in 2011. Although the KIO/A and the Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) were unable to reach a formal ceasefire, the area witnessed relatively few exchange paintings since the end of 2018. The most powerful and threatening ethnic armed groups have been called “illegal associations” or “terrorist groups” by the government. When Tatmadaw took power, however, public opinion seemed to be changing. Apologies to minorities became commonplace on social media, while calls for the creation of a federal army to protest against the military regime increased.
Several ASEAN foreign ministers have condemned violence in Myanmar. China, which was cautious about the political upheaval, has also voiced support for holding a meeting with regional leaders in Myanmar. According to the AFP news agency, 10 of Myanmar’s armed insurgent groups held online talks on the coup on Tuesday, raising fears that a broad conflict. Larger can erupt in this country. In Myanmar, there are about 20 ethnic armed groups that control many territories, mainly in border areas. The Ta’ang National Liberation Force, Myanmar National Democratic Union, and the Arakan Army (AA) group previously stated that if the government army did not stop the bloodshed, they would “cooperate with protesters and protesters.”