War, the Current Crisis, Interests, and Positions

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 23 Scenes
MoeMaKa, April 24, 2024

War, the Current Crisis, Interests, and Positions

A few days ago, joint KNU/KNLA and PDF forces captured the Military Council’s Infantry Battalion IB-275, stationed near Myawaddy. The military council troops from this battalion temporarily took shelter at the foot of Bridge No. 2, crossing the Thai-Myanmar friendship border. Reports indicated that the guard battalion fell and Myawaddy Town was captured by revolutionary armed forces.

However, we soon realized that the initial reports were filled with motivated guesswork, as the situation changed a few days later.

The conditions have shifted due to negotiations, dialogue, or secret agreements rather than the balance of military forces or the outcomes of battles.

A news photo showing a broken flag plinth, aluminum roofs, and damaged buildings from the last few days of fighting circulated on social media. It showed the KNU (Karen National Union) flag being taken down from the flagpole of IB-275 and replaced with the Myanmar flag. This prompted difficult questions about the situation’s sudden change, causing disappointment and surprise.

Videos and photos of the repositioning of IB-275 by military council troops surfaced on unofficial media channels like Kyaw Swar, Ko Thet, and Hmaine Wai, which are often regarded as propaganda outlets rather than legitimate news sources. The public was skeptical and unable to accept these claims.

Some news media reported that the video and photos of the IB-275 flag raising were merely for propaganda purposes. However, after several hours, multiple news outlets confirmed that the military council’s troops had redeployed to IB-275 with assistance from BGF/KNA troops led by Saw Chit Thu. The BGF/KNA’s cooperation with the military council troops, which allowed them to return to their battalion, sparked public inquiry on April 23 as to why the KNU/KNLA accepted such actions. Despite being the most relevant question, the KNU/KNLA struggled to respond, and no media outlet has yet received an answer.

The public could not understand the sudden retreat of the KNU/KNLA from fiercely attacking the military council troops near the Friendship Bridge from the early night of April 19 until the 21, and discontent arose over the fact that the attacked troops were now able to redeploy their base battalion.

On social networks, many NUG and PDF supporters criticized the KNU/KNLA armed group, concluding that the results achieved with PDF youths’ lives were used for their own interests.

KNU/KNLA, BGF/KNA, and the Military Council are currently discussing and negotiating based on results and benefits. The KNU/KNLA stated in response to questions from Western and Thai media that there were no talks with the military council. Although there are no direct talks with the Military Council, it is believed that there will be discussions and negotiations with the BGF/KNA. They also told some media that they firmly hold the stance that Myawaddy must be under the control of the Karen people.

It is reasonable to conclude that the current situation is driven by interests and results. It is not unusual for any group to make decisions based on profitability and outcomes. An armed group that does not consider benefits and results will struggle to sustain itself in the long term. However, it is crucial that the interests and results align with the organization’s policy, not just the interests of the leaders or the armed group itself.

The KNU/KNLA decided to retreat from the heavy attack on the military council troops near Bridge No. 2, citing public safety as the reason. Many people question why the KNU/KNLA could not completely defeat the 200-strong military council forces, which are believed to include the remaining troops of IB-275 and the 44th Division Commander.

Now, the situation in Myawaddy has changed to the point where military council civil departments, such as immigration, tax collection, and administration, are preparing to reactivate. The Thai-Myanmar border, which was closed for a few days, is also preparing to reopen for legal trade. Reports indicate that the BGF/KNA will control Myawaddy. While it is accurate to say that Myawaddy is in the hands of a Karen armed group, it is under the control of a group that has been operating under the Myanmar government army for decades, profiting from protecting gambling businesses and online fraud activities like Zhàpiàn.

Ethnic alliances, local armed forces, and unarmed grassroots forces must work together openly and transparently to establish a Union Army that includes all races, religions, and people from both mountainous and plain regions, laying the foundation for a federal democracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.