THREAD on #Myanmar army sending 2 large convoys (80+ trucks each with armoured vehicle escort) to Chin State.

- HUGE human rights / humnitarian concern

- Potential int' security concern for #India

- Unlikely to be strategic victory for MM military

This is a relatively small unit of troops. Report say max. 120 trucks. If 25 men per truck, that is 3,000 troops.

I'd expect only a handful of support personnel (comms, medics, intelligence) for every 100 and they will be greatly isolated, hens the long, high-profile journey
MAJOR THREAT that this relatively weak and poorly supported infantry force will lean into Tatmadaw strategem #1:

Abuse, terrorise, destabilise and disperse the local population, destroying food stores, clearing people from the region, and instilling terror in those who remain.
The most cripplingly disturbing concern is for women and girls, as the army systematically uses rape as a means of spreading terror & punishing communities believed to support resistance.

Men face some particular threats - automatically suspected combatants / tortured for info
I will be looking out for images of these troops' insignia.

The main fear is that they are from the Light Infantry Divisions, usually used for these extremely violent 'clearance operations'.

Indeed, LIDs may be among the only 'reliable' combat troops TMD has left.
Thankfully, this force will probably not be able to do what they did to #Rohingya in 16-17.

Once over the Mayu mountains and without any meaningful armed resistance, the TMD went from village to village with ease and was regularly resupplying and rotating its troops for months
Similarly violent and brutal campaigns (e.g. Karen 05-08) were much slower, caused huge Tatmadaw losses and that was with ceasefires everywhere else.

Deployments of 2,000-3,000 Tatmadaw troops were common not only then but even in recent incursions into Mu Traw / Hpapun area.
Nonetheless, most CNF/CDF and local defence forces will likely be forced to flee existing positions

Thousands of civilians will likely flee into hiding areas or across the border.

TMD troops will likely fortify themselves in existing or new camps and begin sustained operations
The various defence forces will (after attacking these convoys as much as possible) probably then keep harrassing those bases and ambushing units that come out.

Struggling to isolate & destroy those defence forces, Tatmadaw will probably punish local people, as already seen:
The capacity of these troops to survive and continue abuses depends somewhat on how #India responds.

The two armies publicly cooperate regularly to combat their mutual "insurgencies".

But nothing of this scale has been seen before, least of all against the democracy movement.
At the state level, Mizoram is known to be much more sympathetic to Myanmar's democracy movement than Manipur.

But key Indian intelligence agencies and security forces in the region are under federal control anyway (analysing them is not really my expertise to be honest!)
India must consider the international humanitarian law dimension of any cooperation provided to the Tatmadaw during this time.

It must also consider the impacts on border stability of supporting operations designed to displace people and deny them basic necessities and services
Another key factor is the Tatmadaw's capacity to use its technological advantage.

Many of these troops were flown to closest airports, but actual 'air support' for ops in remote areas is rarely (if ever) seen and even crude airstrikes have been relatively few in recent months
Tatmadaw has hundreds of armoured vehicles but seems incapable of using them for sophisticated operations, especially in rough terrain.

It also seems to struggle toeffectively utilise drones and other surveillance technology to avoid ambushes and seek out camps systematically.
The hope for the federal democracy movement will be that TMD spends huge resources to get these men into the mountains but many never come back - defeated and/or defecting.

They will also hope this campaign stretches TMD, leading to victories in Bago, Magwe, Karenni, etc.
They will hope that this signals yet another strategic blunder and yet another ultimate loss for the junta's rabble of marauding thieves and rapists, whose green uniforms have long gone ragged and who look weaker and more lost by the day.
But the brutal reality remains that these men are going to wreak havoc in one of the poorest parts of the region's poorest countries, meting out violence against countless more innocent people.

Everything possible must be done to end this regime as quickly as possible.

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More from @Kim_Jolliffe

11 Oct
The best book I have read on any aspect of local governance in #Myanmar.

Deep ethnography by local and int researchers on how actually justice works, mostly outside of the official courts where local leaders, EAOs and others fil void.
It is a must read for understanding how governance is patchworked & why village/ward level is so important.

Written pre-coup but is deeply relevant post-coup as the governance and security environment becomes more fragmented and "mixed" in many areas.

Also covers customary and ethnic justice practices, in Karen Mon, Naga and Pa-O communities, who - in different ways - handle justice affairs locally without the official state system.

Much needed to go beyond the imaginary and simplistic EAO-controlled / gov-controlled binary.
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
Critical story on a US gun enthusiast using faux CIA credentials to train #Myanmar activists in highly problematic methods, including home-made indiscriminate weapons.

Some of my thoughts below 👇

#WhatsHappeninglnMyanmar #Sep9Coup…
Activists and political leaders underwent an extremely difficult decision-making process in March and April, deciding whether to take up arms.

They received no protection from anyone, and the zero sum nature of the SAC's agenda meant it was 'fight, be arrested/killed, or flee'
Myanmar has suffered unimaginable violence for decades, not because of parochial conflicts, competing economic agendas or sectrarian divides.

But because of a particularly peverse and violent institution that controls nearly everything and never compromises with anyone.
Read 13 tweets
8 Sep
KNU Chairperson of Dooplaya District (southern Karen State) has requested NUG withdraw its declaration of war.

He is "terrified" of exepcted impacts on civilians and calls for political talks.

#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Sep8Coup…
Worth noting that ppl in Dooplaya probably suffered more than any other Karen district after DKBA formed in 1995 and the constant fighting, forced labour, land confiscation and other abuses that followed.
Ceasefires brought dramatic improvements to security and well-being and relative peace and stability between the Karen groups allowed huge advancements in rebuilding Kawthoolei governance systems, laws etc. alongside improved economy etc.
Read 4 tweets
16 Jun

As #Myanmar Army burns villages in Sagaing...

Let's discuss the 'four cuts' strategy and community resilience to it

4 cuts is NOT about cutting resources to civilians. No.

Civilians ARE the resource that is being cut.
I have seen many posts lately framing food or water blockaids to civilians as 4 cuts (Phyet-Lay-Phyet)

It is all connected, but '4 cuts' is something much more evil.

'4 cuts' aims to cut off civilian support to armed groups, by displacing, killing and terrorising the civilians
There are disagreements about what the '4 cuts' actually are.

Many scholars have claimed the aim is to stop civilians from providing 4 things - often choosing 4 from food, funding, resources, recruits, sancturary, intelligence.

(It is all these things - take your pick.)
Read 19 tweets
4 May

#Myanmar is NOT becoming 'like Syria' and is not 'descending into chaos'

No doubt, Myanmar is facing a catastrophic emergency of immense proportions and requires urgent support.


#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #May4coup #MyanmarCoup
Myanmar is NOT taking in thousands of 'foreign fighters' from Afghanistan or other protracted int'l war zones.

Myanmar is NOT seeing millions of dollars of funding handed to all sides of the conflict by regional and global powers, nor international Islamist networks
Myanmar is NOT being taken over by ISIS

Myanmar is NOT prone to sectarian violence between communities (despite a few elite-orchestrated anti-Islamic attacks in '12-13 and '16-17).

Myanmar has almost NEVER seen communities of different ethnicities fight each other directly.
Read 15 tweets
16 Apr
As @CrphMyanmar announces National Unity Government of #Myanmar

This 'external analysis' commissioned by the Karen National Union provides useful background and context

#WhatsHapppeningInMyanmar #Apr16Coup #HearTheVoiceOfMyanmar
It emphasises the important alliance between (mostly Bamar) pro-democratic forces from the heartland alongside ethnic pro-federal movements

It analyses and supports Part 1 of the Federal Democratic Charter, also known as "The Declaration of Federal Democracy.
It notes that the charter:

- Is a crucial and impressive first step given practical situation
- Represents 4 blocs that 2gether can stop the coup
- Contains unprecedented agreement on federal principles
- Includes robust diversity & protection measures for women and minorities
Read 7 tweets

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