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The Mountain Lion Messenger

The Mountain Lion Messenger

The World’s Longest Running Armed Conflict

Andrew Mercer for Creative Commons
Ethnic Rohingya’s protesting Myanmar’s military junta at the 2014 G20 in Brisbane, Australia

On May 5, 2021, a full-scale war erupted in the already unstable Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (also known as Burma). The ongoing 2021 Myanmar Civil War is a response by the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) to the federal military dictatorship that deposed the democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD). Although oppositionists to the military dictatorship attempted to protest what they perceived as unjust through civil disobedience, civilian protesters met harsh crackdowns transforming the decades-long insurgencies into nationwide resistance.

Myanmar’s political turmoil traces back to Britain’s colonization of the region which drew up lines irrespective of the ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds of the land’s inhabitants. In addition, Britain established secular rule, completely foreign to Myanmar, and destroyed the Buddhist Sangha system. The British Rule in Burma lasted from 1824 until their independence on January 4, 1948. Less than three months later on April 2, the Communist Party of Burma (CPB), one of the two largest opposition groups, fired the first shots against the Anti-Facist People’s Freedom League (AFPLF) to consolidate influence. Meanwhile, the second large opposition group, the Karen National Union (KNU), favored an independent state led by the Karen ethnic group. Various insurgencies continued to rise against opposition groups to satisfy their disaffected populace.

In 1962, General of the Federal Army (Tatmadaw) Ne Win, executed a coup d’etat on the transitional government instating military junta rule over the divided nation. The following juntas cemented Burma as a military dictatorship for the next 60 years where the unbridled Tatmadaw suppressed any movements of reform or opposition. The most notable and recent suppression is the ousting of the democratically elected NLD official, Aung San Suu Kyi. Massive outcry broke out against the ruling State Administration Council junta (SAC), primarily by the NUG and its armed wing the People’s Defense Force (PDF). The conflict between the groups essentially divided Myanmar into two factions with smaller paramilitary groups declaring allegiance to the most favorable side.

The SAC subjects scapegoated groups such as the Karen and Rohingya to brutal repressions. Human Rights Watch reports, “Rohingya Muslims are still awaiting justice and protection of their rights five years after the Myanmar military began a sweeping campaign of massacres, rape, and arson in northern Rakhine State on August 25, 2017. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled to precarious, flood-prone camps in Bangladesh, while about 600,000 remain under oppressive rule in Myanmar.” The SAC’s staunch despotism pushed the NUG to declare a People’s Defensive War calling all citizens to revolt against the rule of the military terrorists in every corner of the country Burma.

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About the Contributor
Amanial Ftwi
Amanial Ftwi, Global News Editor
Amanial Ftwi is a junior a Sierra Vista High School . This is his second year of journalism with a guest reporter feature published his freshman year. Amanial enjoys writing stories about geopolitics and opinionated pieces. Amanial is from Tigray and lives with his parents, younger sister, and grandmother.

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