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In Burma, the people’s resistance to repression



► Where is the dispute in Burma?

Despite constant repression, the population is resisting. On February 1, 2021, the military coup in Burma resulted in a massive popular uprising. In response, General Min Aung Hlaing’s armed forces organized a powerful work of controlling civilian groups fighting against murderous oppression.

The protest is deprived of means of communication and information. But the Tatmadaw still cannot contain it, and the Burmese are showing great combativeness: young people are ready to offer their lives for their country. », Explains Sophie Boisseau du Rocher, researcher at the Asia Center of Ifri.

In large cities like Rangoon or Mandalay, peaceful resistance continues. In particular through strikes, the refusal to teach, to send children back to school and civil disobedience movements. More radical, homemade bomb explosions are rarely claimed, specifies anthropologist Maxime Boutry. ” One part is attributable to the resistance movement, the other to the army, to justify the state of emergency “, Advances the specialist of Burma.

→ MAINTENANCE. Alex Aung Khant: “Burma will become worse than Syria”

Some leaders take refuge in the periphery. Hence a displacement of the conflict in the Shan, Karen, Kachin and Chin States, near the border countries. ” Many city dwellers settle in regions under the control of ethnic armies, increasingly involved in the resistance, to train in the art of war. », Says the researcher.

► How does the military junta gag all opposition?

Under house arrest since the coup, former leader Aung San Suu Kyi was indicted on Thursday June 10 for corruption. She was previously charged with illegal possession of walkie-talkies, inciting public disturbance and violating a state secrets law.

The army took the care to create a file to disqualify it completely. This hardening shows the military is returning to its paranoid delusions of the 1980s », Analyzes Sophie Boisseau du Rocher.

Civilians, local and foreign journalists and activists: nearly 6,000 people have been arrested. More than 800 killed, although these figures are surely underestimated. Not to mention the kidnappings, executions of opponents, torture and sexual violence against women. “ Currently, no place is safe in Burma. Anyone can be detained or killed anytime, anywhere “, at written on Twitter Ko Bo Kyi, a secretary of the NGO AAPP (Burma).

In the east, aerial bombardments and the use of artillery have forced the displacement of at least 100,000 Burmese, according to the UN, which is concerned about ” mass deaths “. ” The army uses completely disproportionate violence, reports Maxime Boutry. In Kachin State, civilians are even used as human shields. “

► What outcomes are possible?

Without massive defection in the ranks of the army, it is difficult to lead the resistance in the long term, believes the specialist. ” Cornered by its lack of legitimacy, the military government will not let go. It has financial means, armament and civilian informants, the “dalan”, who promote denunciation. », Judge Maxime Boutry.

→ ANALYSIS. In Burma, the sacrifice of youth in the face of the coup

This civil war, for which the army is responsible, also plunges the country into a serious economic crisis. ” 82% of households saw their income drop by 50%, assures Sophie Boisseau du Rocher. In the city as in the countryside, the priority is survival. And the army at stake. “For her, it is necessary that the external powers give credit to the resistance, to increase the room for maneuver of the Burmese, and to their” sacrificial force “. And not to leave the field open to the army.

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