An armed ethnic group in Myanmar known as the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) has recently claimed to have seized a military outpost near the Thai border.
- A spokesman for the Karen National Union (KNU), the minority’s main political group seeking greater autonomy from Myanmar’s central government, said the group’s armed wing attacked the base at 5 a.m. and burned it down just after dawn.
- Myanmar’s military staged airstrikes several hours later on villages in territory controlled by the Karen forces.
- The attack has represented a morale-boosting action for those opposing the military’s takeover of the country’s civilian government in February.
- The KNU, which controls territory in eastern Myanmar near the Thai border, is a close ally of the resistance movement against the military takeover that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. KNLA is KNU’s armed wing.
- There is a similar situation in northern Myanmar, where the Kachin minority claims to have captured several government outposts and been the target of air attacks.
About Karen and Kachin:
- The Karen and the Kachin are two of the bigger minority groups that have been seeking greater autonomy for decades, during which there have been periods of armed conflict punctuated by ceasefires.
- The Karen is an ethno linguistic group of Sino-Tibetan language-speaking peoples while Karen groups reside primarily in Kayin State, southern and southeastern Myanmar.
- On 1st February 2021, the civilian government led by the NLD was overthrown in a military coup d’état, and the Tatmadaw’s commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, became the head of state. Aung San Suu Kyi and several other senior members of her government were arrested by the military during the coup.
- Mass protests followed, with demonstrators demanding the resignation of Min Aung Hlaing and the newly-created State Administration Council (SAC), the release of those arrested in the coup, and the restoration of the civilian government.
- Myanmar officially the Republic of the Union of Myanma was formerly known as Burma.
- It is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups.
- It is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and Thailand to its east and southeast, and the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest.
- Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.
- The Capital of Myanmar is Naypyitaw.
- The currency used here Burmese kyat.