The victory of the armed people’s movement in Myanmar is unstoppable

From Ang Bayan, May 7, 2024

Armed groups of national minorities and people fighting in different regions in Myanmar against the fascist Tatmadaw junta have achieved successive victories. From separate efforts, the unity and coordination of the armed anti-junta groups have increased. Simultaneous and, in some parts, coordinated offensives from late 2023 have also accelerated. They are confident in significantly weakening, if not completely overthrowing, the despised regime this year.

National minorities have been fighting Myanmar’s fascist military even before the February 2021 coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. They have long carried out struggle in the states of Kayin and Kachin in the eastern part; in Rakhine state which opens to the Indian Ocean; and in the northern state of Shan, which borders China. After the coup, national minorities from Sagaing and Magway regions also fought, as well as those from Chin state in the northwest, and national minorities from Karen (also called Kayah) state around the border with Thailand. These groups are just some of the more than 20 armed ethnolinguistic groups in Myanmar today. Many of them have been struggling for decades for the right to self-determination against national oppression by Myanmar’s reactionary state and military.

By 2023, the Three Brotherhood Alliance had recaptured much of the territory from the junta forces. This is after they launched Operation 1027 from October last year. The alliance seized from junta forces important towns on the Myanmar-China border where trade flows between the two countries. Hundreds of detachments and camps were defeated by coordinated attacks during the first 10 days of the offensive. Thousands of soldiers, including several senior Tatmadaw officers, surrendered to the alliance.

The Karen National Union and Karenni Nationalities Defense Forces have also liberated large territories since it launched Operation 1111 in November 2023. Together with other armed groups, it seized important institutions and agencies, including the police station in Loikaw, the Karen state center, in December 2023. On April 24, the Karenni State Interim Executive Council declared that it has 90% of the state under its control.

At the same time, the resistance of the Chinland Defense Forces to oust the junta forces from their territory is increasing. On April 29, it captured the headquarters of the Tatmadaw battalion that controls the part of the Irrawady river that is a key portal to the Kachin capital.

In Naypyitaw, Yangon and other urban centers of the country, the People’s Defense Forces (PDF), the armed group established by the National Unity Government from youth groups and activists, is intensifying its attacks. On April 5, the PDF conducted a coordinated attack using 28 “kamikaze drones” at the house of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, the main military headquarters and a major airbase, all in the capital Naypyitaw. Before this, many camps, detachments and checkpoints were overrun by armed groups using small drones.

Armed groups carry out widespread and intensive offensives due to the support of the democratic sectors of the majority Bamar people, and national minority groups. Combining regular and guerilla warfare, they are able to stretch Tatmadaw forces and strike at them from various sides.

In response, the fascist Tatmadaw intensified its attacks on the states with the strongest resistance. Using planes, helicopters and drones, it indiscriminately bombs and attacks civilian communities. These led to the displacement of 2.8 million individuals, the deaths of at least 6,000 civilians including many children and women. An estimated 25,000 have been arbitrarily arrested by the junta since 2021.