Reflecting on Two Years of Resistance

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – Two Years After D-Day

Published by MoeMaKa on September 08, 2023

Reflecting on Two Years of Resistance

Two years have passed since the declaration of D-Day, a pivotal moment in Myanmar’s struggle for democracy. It was on September 7, 2021, that the Acting President of the National Unity Government called for a nationwide armed resistance, marking a crucial turning point in the fight against the military junta. D-Day, a term evoking the commencement of the liberation of France from Nazi forces during World War II, holds deep significance in the hearts of those standing against tyranny.

In the wake of the coup, many young people opted for the path of armed resistance, driven by the coup military’s ruthless response to peaceful protests, employing firearms, batons, tear gas, and imprisonment. In both urban and rural settings, young individuals sought military training and combat expertise from ethnic armed groups, subsequently employing guerrilla warfare tactics in city streets. Others joined armed groups along the border areas, with the aim of engaging in guerrilla warfare and territorial battles. Some regions, such as the Anyar Federation, witnessed communities forming their own defense forces and People’s Defense Organizations (PaKaFa), resulting in armed confrontations within their villages. This pattern of resistance emerged in Sagaing Region, Magway Region, and Chin State, among others.

The declaration of D-Day by the National Unity Government in September 2021 came at a time when the armed movement was in its infancy, still in the process of acquiring arms and recruits. The appropriateness of the timeframe designated as D-Day may be a subject of debate, but history will ultimately judge its relevance when historical data becomes available for contextual analysis. With two years now behind us, it is crucial to review all the information at our disposal, including the outcomes and successes achieved. Only then can we chart the course forward, identifying the strategies and methods that will guide our journey.

While there is a broad political consensus that the military dictatorship must be ousted through armed means, questions arise about whether there exists a common agreement among armed groups regarding the desired political framework for governance. While the aspiration for a federal democratic nation is shared, the specifics of this federal democratic system—how it will safeguard equal rights in ethnic states and regions where the Bamar people reside, how resources will be distributed, how the federal army will be structured during military reorganization, and the delineation of powers between the central and state governments—all remain critical questions.

These issues fall within the purview of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), which has played a limited role since its inception. It is unclear whether the NUCC continues to exert influence in political leadership and policy formulation. A comprehensive review of the changes in political dynamics over the past two years since D-Day is warranted, examining the level of consensus achieved among ethnic groups regarding the federal constitution, the percentage of agreement versus disagreement, and the degree of military success. It is essential to recognize that military success is closely tied to political unity, shared objectives, and military experience.

Additionally, it is important to assess the level of unity under a single command structure as armed forces continue to evolve. Presently, the conflict involves three Military Regional Commands: Southern, Northern, and Central. Ethnic armed resistance groups supporting the Spring Revolution hold sway in Kachin State, Chin State, Karen State, and Kayah State. In the Magway and Sagaing regions, collectively referred to as the Anyar Federation, local defense forces, Ministry of Defense (MOD) defense forces, and interior, defense, and administrative bodies linked to NUG ministries are active. In other ethnic regions and states, significant changes have yet to materialize.

Rather than prematurely claiming victory due to the perceived weakness of the enemy, success should be measured by the cohesion of our forces, alignment of objectives, practical implementation, and the sustained support of the public. We must not overlook the possibility of the enemy weakening further. In Myanmar’s complex political landscape, where numerous armed forces operate, weakening the common enemy, the military council, is only one step towards achieving the ultimate vision. We must remain prepared for various scenarios as we continue to advance.