Is the tide of Myanmar’s war turning?

Opposition forces control around 60% of Myanmar’s territory, according to the acting leader of Myanmar’s government-in-exile, Duwa Lashi La.

Myanmar has been in a state of civil war since soon after the military toppled the country’s elected president Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021. The junta has since used its superior firepower to retain control over major cities.

But beyond city limits, it’s been harder to get a clear picture. On the coup’s second anniversary in February, the junta admitted that more than a third of the country’s townships were no longer under full military control.

And an earlier independent report suggested the junta controlled only:

  • 🗺️ 17% of total land area, and
  • 🏘️ 22% of all townships.

Intrigue’s take: There are all kinds of reasons why battlefield reports out of Myanmar should be treated with caution. But the junta itself has seemed pretty surprised by the resistance, and there are ongoing claims of desertions, waning foreign support, and attacks closer to the capital.

But that’s not to suggest the opposition is in control; it’s hinted at some of its own challenges, including establishing a single chain of command across – and supplying – the hundreds of armed groups across the country.

Also worth noting:

  • Two of the junta’s top generals were relieved of duty this week amid a corruption scandal.
  • The UN human rights chief said last week that the junta uses airstrikes and village burnings to subjugate the population.
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