An escalation in fighting between the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Tatmadaw near the town of Mong Ko on the China border has emptied villages, while inflaming longstanding tensions over who controls the area.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has attracted ridicule for airing grand development plans at a time when the economy is in crisis, but even the regime’s more rational economic goals are unlikely to be achievable.
As civilian casualties mount in the conflict between the Tatmadaw and Arakan Army, medical personnel in Rakhine are living in fear of being caught up in fighting and say the state is ill-prepared for an outbreak of COVID-19.
Due for release in the coming days, the COVID-19 Comprehensive Response Plan will include new economic stimulus measures and increased funding for the health sector, as well as detail on how the plan can be funded.
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.