Myanmar Spring Chronicle: Myanmar Faces Humanitarian Crisis Amidst Escalating Warfare

Myanmar Spring Chronicle: Myanmar Faces Humanitarian Crisis Amidst Escalating Warfare

 MoeMaKa Media – February 20, 2024

As Myanmar grapples with a widespread civil war, scenes of destruction, displacement, and loss of life have become tragically commonplace. The ongoing offensive by revolutionary forces to capture cities, coupled with the military council’s aerial bombardments, has resulted in a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions.

The once unthinkable has become a grim reality, with casualties mounting as cities like Hsenwi, Mongmit, Loikaw, Tigyaing, Minbya, Pauktaw, Ponnagyun, and Kawkareik face destruction reminiscent of Thantlang Town in Chin State in September 2021. Entire regions are now confronted with the harsh consequences of war, and civilians are paying the price with their lives.

The plight of those caught in the conflict extends beyond the immediate danger of warfare. As people flee from cities and villages, leaving behind their homes and possessions, they face the harsh realities of displacement. The burning of markets, homes, and the loss of lives during evacuations are creating a dire situation where even basic necessities like food, clothing, and blankets become urgent requirements.

Unlike previous conflicts where refugees could seek shelter in nearby cities, the widespread nature of the current war has left no safe havens. Both urban and rural populations are forced to fend for themselves as administrative assistance becomes sporadic or nonexistent.

The toll on civilians is heartbreaking. Fleeing for days and weeks, many find themselves in forests without shelter, battling the cold and enduring unimaginable hardships. This has led to a sense of hopelessness, with some expressing that the conditions in which they find themselves are worse than death.

One recent incident that has captured headlines involves an attack on a convoy returning to Hsihseng, a town seized by PNLA troops in southern Shan State. Civilians, having fled Hsihseng weeks earlier, gathered to retrieve essential items when tragedy struck. A bomb dropped near the convoy, claiming the lives of seven civilians and leaving more than ten others seriously injured.

The unpredictability of warfare adds an extra layer of difficulty for those trying to reclaim belongings or find refuge. In the face of such uncertainty, decisions to return to homes or cities can have tragic consequences, underscoring the harsh realities faced by war refugees.

As the conflict intensifies, there are reports of unwelcome reactions towards refugees based on ethnic and religious differences. In some regions, fleeing families have faced hostility from host communities, revealing the depth of division even among those of the same ethnicity.

Amidst these challenges, calls for patience, unity, and resilience resonate as the final battle against the military dictatorship unfolds. However, it is crucial to assess the actual situation on the ground, ensuring that motivations align with the lived experiences of those affected. The pain, suffering, and sacrifices endured during this war demand a clear and unified goal for the future, as doubts and mistrust threaten to overshadow the collective struggle for freedom and justice.