Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 12 Scenes
MoeMaKa January 14 2023
A civil war accompanied by a series of airstrikes; The Thai-Myanmar border bridge reopened after about 3 years
In recent days, 2 days after the fighter jets attacked the headquarters camp of the Chin National Front (CNF) called Victoria camp on the border of Chin State and India, 2 Christian priests were killed again in an air strike on a village in the area of the 5th Brigade of Karen State. A few days before that news, there was an air attack on rafts digging for gold in the Irrawaddy River near Bhamo in Kachin State, and there were deaths.
The air attack on the CNF headquarters in Chin State was the first in decades, and an air attack on illegal gold mining rafts in the river has never happened before. The military council’s ground control is clearly weakened, and there are more intercepted attacks on the road, so instead of seizing and controlling the territory dominated by armed forces in order to dominate on the ground, it appears that the military council is now working to attack by air and destroy the camps on the ground, base camps, and established camps in order to harm the ethnic armed groups that they consider the enemy. By conducting such frequent aerial attacks and destruction, it may be intended to make it difficult for ethnic armed groups to set up camp and force armed group leaders to consult with them if they want to set up camp.
The air attack on the gold-digging rafts is worse than this. The air attack on gold mining rafts that can harm the environment as if those were armed forces, which had never been done, in establishing law enforcement rather than giving instruction for this by the police, relevant forest and river authorities, demonstrates that the military council has lost control on the ground. Although it is true that it is necessary to act on environmental conservation issues, the occurrence of airstrikes and shootings for no reason shows how bad the situation in Myanmar has become.
Due to a large number of ground troops’ casualties and an all-pervasive battlefield, the military council has reduced the use of conventional ground-based combat and counterattack strategies. Instead, it is using air support more to gain an advantage by attacking armed groups’ bases and headquarters, as well as to respond to attacks on their base camps by ethnic armed groups and PDFs.
Another piece of news for today is the reopening of the border crossing gate at Friendship Bridge No. 1 between Myawaddy and Mae Sot on the Myanmar-Thai border, which has been closed since the outbreak of COVID-19. After the outbreak of COVID-19, Bridge No. 1 was closed, and the newly constructed Bridge No. 2 was used for trade in goods, the return of illegally arrested persons, and the repatriation of migrant workers. Bridge No. 1, where citizens of Thailand and Myanmar or other citizens’ travel with each other, was closed due to the COVID-19 infection and the security situation after the military coup, but it was reopened on January 12.
A week after the reopening of the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Highway, which was recently blocked for more than 10 days, the Thai-Myanmar border bridge reopened. Anti-military council politicians, civilian CDMs, CDM soldiers from the military council, and journalists living in Mae Sot are supposed to be a bit more cautious about security. Not only obtaining information but also assassinations, kidnappings, and arrests have become possible.