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09/05 • MYANMAR

  • May 9, 2024

The situation in Myanmar has taken a grim turn. Fighting is spreading from the northern Shan State to other regions, plunging the country deeper into turmoil. 

On October 27, an alliance of ethnic armed groups launched a coordinated offensive against regime forces in northern Shan State, seizing several towns and overrunning dozens of military outposts. 

This operation, dubbed "Operation 1027," represents the biggest battlefield challenge to the military since its February 2021 coup that deposed the Aung San Suu Kyi administration. The regime has responded with brutal force, cracking down on protesters, killing hundreds and detaining thousands. Public sector strikes and other forms of civil disobedience have prevented the regime from consolidating its control, further exacerbating the economic crisis gripping the nation. 

Despite the regime's immediate airstrikes and long-range artillery barrages, the outnumbered regime forces have been unable to counter Operation 1027 effectively, with scores of military outposts and bases abandoned or surrendered.

The escalating conflict has forced more than 3 million people from their homes, a "bleak milestone" for Myanmar, according to the United Nations. Approximately half of the displaced are in the northwestern regions of Chin, Magway, and Sagaing, with over 900,000 in the southeast.

The western state of Rakhine remains a region of concern. A brutal military crackdown in 2017 prompted more than 750,000 mostly Muslim Rohingya to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh, and the plight of the Rohingya remains unaddressed. The prospect of returning from their Bangladeshi camps looks bleak. 

The deepening conflict has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, and the UN estimates that 18.6 million people in Myanmar now require assistance. This is an increase of 1 million people from the previous year. Efforts to reach those in need are being hampered by "gross underfunding," with the UN receiving less than 5 percent of the funds needed for humanitarian operations. As the cyclone season approaches, additional resources are urgently needed to protect the most vulnerable and save lives. 

Prayer points:

For a return to peace across the country and that the rich diversity of people and tribes would know justice, protection and reconciliation  
That those people displaced would be safe to return to their homes and that children would be able to access education  
For the provision of adequate humanitarian resources and for the protection of all those involved in there delivery  


Click here for a printable version of these prayer points.

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