Ethnic armed groups in Shan State have long used intimidation to recruit fighters, but the brutal tactics of the Shan State Progress Party are terrorizing villagers and prompting some to flee their homes.
Most residents in the country’s fifth-largest city continue to rely on poor-quality water sources in the absence of a reliable government distribution system, but work is already underway on a major upgrade with international support.
Activists in northern Shan State have been fighting for years to protect a culturally and environmentally important mountain range but face opposition from Tatmadaw-aligned militias – and a company linked to the speaker of Myanmar’s national parliament.
Since health authorities introduced stay-at-home orders for Yangon in September, informal workers and small business owners have faced a grim struggle to make ends meet amid a lack of government assistance.
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.