Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Burma tilts towards civil war

Brian McCartan (Asia Times Online); image by Danno91
Myanmar (Burma) moved closer to civil war in recent weeks after fighting broke out in Kachin State, a former ceasefire area in the remote northern region.

Myanmar's newly elected government now faces ethnic insurgencies on three separate fronts, threatening internal and border security.

There is also the potential for more insurgent groups to take up arms and push their claims against the government. The escalating conflict is not going all the military's way and risks further stunting Myanmar's development and international confidence in its supposed democratic transition.

In the southeast, a revolt by formerly allied troops of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) on November 7, 2010, election day, resulted in the temporary seizure of two important border towns and the some 20,000 refugees fleeing into Thailand.

Although the government was able to retake the towns, fighting continued in the area and the group allied itself with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU). More

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