The Revolutionary Forces’ Assertion of Controlling 60% of Myanmar’s Territory

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – September 29 
Published by MoeMaKa on September 30, 2023

The Revolutionary Forces’ Assertion of Controlling 60% of Myanmar’s Territory

The Acting President of the National Unity Government, Duwa Lashi La, recently responded to a query from Bloomberg News Agency, revealing that the revolutionary forces have effectively secured control over 60% of Myanmar’s territory, while the military council’s grasp extends to only 17%. The statement does not explicitly specify the armed groups encompassed within the definition of “revolutionary forces.” In general, it can be interpreted as referring to the People’s Defense Forces that emerged in the aftermath of the military coup and certain ethnic armed groups. Nonetheless, there are ethnic armed organizations that do not overtly align with the NUG, rendering the roster of revolutionary forces somewhat ambiguous.

In the context of territorial control, it becomes imperative to ascertain whether the areas governed by ethnic armed groups in regions such as Shan State, Rakhine State, Mon State, and certain parts of Tanintharyi Division fall within this 60%. The declaration of 60% territorial control is undoubtedly an uplifting assertion for those engaged in the armed resistance. It signifies that the military council is compelled to redraw its boundaries, and the regions it governs are progressively diminishing. This assertion bolsters the belief that the military council might soon be overthrown through armed means.

However, with the widening scope of armed confrontations and conflict zones, associated impacts are mounting. These include an escalating number of war refugees, casualties, property and house damage, livelihood disruptions, administrative and law enforcement voids, surging crime rates, armed clashes, blockades, and the weight of levies collected by armed groups for sustaining armed confrontations. Those engaged in the armed struggle might urge the public to endure these tribulations for a while, with the promise that victory and goals are within reach. On the revolutionary front, multiple armed groups simultaneously pose challenges, necessitating political consolidation and military unification before a definitive triumph in the armed struggle.

It is essential to recognize that Myanmar’s political dilemma transcends the conflict between military dictatorship and democracy. The long-standing civil war is compounded by federalist aspirations, the pursuit of self-determination, and political objectives.

In the complex terrain of armed conflict driven by multifaceted issues, discerning allies, adversaries, and neutrals is far from straightforward. The balance may shift depending on circumstances and perspectives.

Armed struggle will likely remain the chosen course until ultimate victory is secured. In navigating this terrain, one must be mindful of the public’s participation in the revolution and their sustenance. Ethnic armed groups, seasoned by over seven decades of internal armed conflicts, adopt a survival-focused, long-term strategy when confronted by a vastly superior force.

The NUG government, emerging in the aftermath of the 2021 military coup, may harbor distinct objectives compared to ethnic armed groups. Thus, its approach to armed struggle may vary.

In summary, the NUG government, aspiring to gain central power, must prioritize organizing armed organizations in areas inhabited by the Burman population. It is equally important to recognize the significance of forging alliances and collaboration with ethnic armed groups governing ethnic regions.