Unwilling to accept military rule, many in Kachin are looking to the Kachin Independence Organization to fill a void in governance. As the KIO strengthens its influence, it is facing mounting pressure to regulate environmentally destructive gold mining.
Over-extraction of groundwater was already a problem before the coup but experts say it is likely to worsen in the years ahead due to stalled policies and laws, and lack of investment in much-needed infrastructure.
A visit to the Arakan Army “temporary” headquarters in the stronghold of the Kachin Independence Army reveals a large number of fresh recruits and newly minted officers ready to be dispatched to Myanmar’s latest conflict zone.
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.