Myanmar Spring Chronicle –  Is there already a civil war in Myanmar?

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 07 Scenes

MoeMaKa – August 08, 2022

 Is there already a civil war in Myanmar?

Recently, at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Singapore’s Foreign Minister quoted some analysts and organizations as saying that the situation in Myanmar is on the verge of a civil war, which could last from 4 to 20 years. It will not be his conclusion but the estimated assessment of some Think Tank organizations.

International Think tanks do research and estimate the situation in Myanmar, based on the information obtained by organizations that monitor and record political events. What actually happening in the country is always differ to some extent from the situations in research papers depending on the perspective of the organizations involved in the conflict, anticipatory thinking and their interest.

As Singapore’s foreign minister said, it is partly true that a civil war is happening, but the raging flames of civil war has already been there. The fire of civil war has been completely spreading since Myanmar’s independence. Sometimes, the flame flares up and down again in different places from time to time. The civil-war referred to by Singapore’s Foreign Minister may refer to the level of civil unrest and armed resistance that has occurred all over the country, like in Syria and Afghanistan.

Since Myanmar’s independence, armed groups based on political ideology and armed groups based on gaining ethnic rights have emerged, and over 70 years of history, there have been dozens of ethnic armed groups. Currently, there are nearly two dozen ethnic armed groups and many Bamar (Myanmar ethnic) armed groups, and armed attacks are spreading from the far north of Myanmar to the west, and until it reaches the eastern border and the southernmost part.

Armed attacks do not happen everywhere at the same time, but ethnic armed groups are attacking the military, which has controlled and dominated political power for decades in the area of the groups that wants to gain control back their regions. After the anti-coup movement of 2021, popularly known as the Spring Revolution, new armed groups emerged in regions where the majority of Bamar people live, and the civil war that had been shrouded in ashes before the military took power, was filled with fuel and started to burn faster.

As Myanmar is not Ukraine, not Syria, not Afghanistan and not Iraq, we have not yet seen the free flow of supply of arms from some countries.  If it were like Ukraine and Syria, it would be a proxy war between some countries which have intention of spreading the ideology and influence through waging war on someone else’s land. However, it must be said that Myanmar’s current situation is not a state of proxy war.

In the absence of international intervention, whether the civil war will become widespread  or die down depending on how  position, strength, cooperation and  planning of the organizations invloved. If the military council’s ability to run  in coordinated centralized operation, which controls and uses most of the country’s resources, is gaining, it balance will go toward them. If there could be consensus among various armed resistence groups that result with stronger attackes and occupations emerge, then revolution would take upper hand. While the enemy is working on the enforcement of manpower, financial and people’s support, it is necessary for Revolutionary side to understand how common the political consensus and the interest within various groups to be agreed quickly and the importance of building alliances based on common principle, position and interest  rather than just teaming together for short term interest based on “the enemy of the enemy is friend”.