UN: 90K People Displaced by Myanmar Conflict

    Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images News [via Getty Images] (Feb. 15, 2021)

    The Facts

    • An update by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday stated that approximately 90K individuals have been displaced in Myanmar due to the conflict between the state and ethnic armed rebel groups.

    • In northern Shan, fighting between what the UN described as "Ethnic Armed Organizations" and the Myanmar Armed Forces has displaced nearly 50K since Oct. 26. This comes as, according to the UN, only 28% of the required $887M Humanitarian Response Plan and Cyclone Mocha Flash Appeals has been received.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The junta isn't only losing ground but losing it in economically essential regions of the country while also weakening ties with China. Facing fierce pushback from the Brotherhood Alliance, the junta now risks losing key cross-border trade locations, which make up 40% of cross-border trade and a crucial source of tax revenue. The military regime has never been this weak, which is why the junta's leader has said he may have to concede certain regions to the freedom fighters.

    Narrative B

    The actions of those who engage in conflict, claiming to achieve peace, often only cause harm to innocent lives. Those seeking war with Myanmar must acknowledge the damage that they continue to cause and look rather towards impartial and bilateral processes towards national unity and a ceasefire. Both the rebel factions and their global backers should focus on diplomatic solutions with the military government rather than propping up this unnecessary war.

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