The leader of a Tatmadaw-controlled Border Guard Force in a remote region of Kachin State has emerged as a key player in the global rare earth trade, and has turned the territory under his de facto control into a mining hub at a high environmental cost.
New restrictions on the sale and distribution of oxygen to the public have made it harder to treat COVID-19 patients at home and social welfare groups have warned the rules could result in more preventable deaths.
The National Unity Government’s plan to end discrimination against the Rohingya and replace the 1982 Citizenship Law could face opposition from among its own supporters – if the parallel government gets the chance to implement it.
A ceasefire in Kayah State was supposed to provide a temporary reprieve from clashes between Tatmadaw forces and local militias, but volunteer groups are still struggling to reach villagers who were driven from their homes.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.