Burmese forces opened fire on a group of pro-democracy protesters and the military junta on Saturday, killing at least five people in the central city of Monywa. At the same time, in the Sagaing region, another group led by a deserting police officer rebelled against a police station, in which six officers were killed. A violence that the Chin National Army guerrilla considers could lead to something more than a sustained protest.
The bloodshed in Myanmar is not stopping and there are those who claim that the country could be on the verge of an even worse situation. Namely, a civil war.
In the last hours, Burmese security forces opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in Monywa, in the center of the country, who, like dozens of other cities, are staging protests demanding the return of democratically elected civil authorities. and that since last February 1 they have been under arrest by the military junta. Among them, leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Min Aung Hlaing.
As a result of this new act of repression, at least five civilians died. “They started firing non-stop, with stun grenades and live bullets (…) People fell back and quickly set up barricades, but a bullet hit a person in front of me, in the head. He died on the spot,” a protester told Reuters. in Monywa, who refused to divulge his identity.
At least 550 people have died as a result of violence by the authorities, according to a count by the activist group Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The conflict has also begun to claim lives on the side of the security forces. Six policemen were killed when a protest movement attacked a police station in the Sagaing region, in the center of the nation.
The local newspaper Myanmar Now reported that a policeman who deserted the institution was the one who led the attack with three hand grenades that killed five active officers. The sixth deceased is the rebellious uniformed man himself, who was shot by the police forces, according to the account of witnesses.
A “civil war or revolution” stalks Myanmar
Although the largest number of victims corresponds to unarmed protesters, the protests do not stop. The insistent calls of the international community and the sanctions imposed on the military junta, by the United States and the United Kingdom, have not succeeded in dissuading the military institution that continues to point its weapons against anyone who demonstrates against it.
Likewise, in recent days, clashes between ethnic minorities and the Army have resumed, with long-standing clashes.
The Chin National Army (CNA), one of the country’s active ethnic guerrillas, points out that the current violence throughout the country, after the coup on February 1, could lead to “a civil war or a revolution.”
“The protests led by the people have entered a new phase, turning into an uprising. I anticipate something much worse: a civil war or a revolution,” said ANC spokesman Salai Htet Ni, from Chin State, in the west. from Myanmar, on the border with India.
Added to the deaths are arrests, at least 2,751 according to the AAPP, and forced disappearances. On Friday, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced the disappearance of hundreds of people in the last two months of protests, calling for economic sanctions against the military junta that leads the nation.
For the seizure of power, the Army justified an alleged electoral fraud in the elections of last November in which Suu Kyi’s party swept the majority of seats in Parliament, but the irregularities had already been dismissed by the electoral authorities of the nation.
The military action broke the few years of progress towards democracy, since those elections were only the second in the country, after those held in 2014, after more than half a century of military dictatorship that now seems to return.
With Reuters and EFE