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Burma Coup (I refuse to call it Myanmar)


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  • 4 months later...

Mae Sot is probably my favorite place in SEA

Have spent a lot of time up there over the years

Ethnic Myanmar rebels and pro-democracy forces claim capture of key town on Thai border

An aerial shot of three soldiers holding flags with piles of guns, ammo and equipment.
  • In short: Anti-junta forces claim to have taken control of the Myanmar township on the most important Thai-Myanmar border crossing.
  • Control of the border crossing could give the rebel forces' finances a big boost while starving the military government of funds.  
  • What's next? There are fears the junta could retaliate by attacking the town with air power and artillery causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Ethnic guerilla fighters and pro-democracy forces have claimed an important victory after reportedly taking control of the major trading town on Myanmar's border with Thailand. 

However, observers are concerned the "humiliating" defeat will prompt a counteroffensive from the military junta that could have devastating consequences for the civilian population.

The Karen National Union (KNU), an ethnic-based group aligned with pro-democracy forces, claimed on Thursday to have eliminated the last remaining battalion of State Administrative Council (SAC) forces in the border township of Myawaddy overnight.

"At this time, all military council camps in Myawaddy have been attacked and occupied," the KNU said in a Facebook post.

"The remaining military council remains will continue to be cleared.

"The public is advised to cooperate without panic."

Around 200 fleeing soldiers were gathered at the border crossing bridge into Thailand, KNU spokesperson Saw Taw Nee told Reuters.

Local news outlet Khit Thit reported Thai authorities were in talks with the soldiers to decide whether to grant them refuge.

Thailand's military has stepped up security on its side of the border, deploying army vehicles equipped with roof-mounted machine guns.

A spokesperson for the Myanmar junta did not respond to Reuter's calls for comment.

At least 2,000 people have already been displaced within Myanmar by the latest round of fighting between the rebels and the military, according to civil society group Karen Peace Support Network.

Border crossings in the area were open for civilians who were arriving in Thailand from Myanmar in large numbers, said police official Borwornphop Soontornlekha, the immigration superintendent in Tak, the province on the Thai side of the border.

"Usually there are about 2,000 people who cross into Mae Sot from Myawaddy each day but the last three days the number was almost 4,000 a day," he told Reuters.

People walk across a busy road bridge.
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