The military-installed president of Myanmar has warned that the country may break apart if the government can’t control the fighting that has begin in Shan State. The speech was given at an emergency meeting held by the ruling military council to address coordinated attacks by anti-military insurgents which have inflicted serious losses on the armed forces. Three ethnic insurgent groups in Shan State have overrun dozens of military posts and captured border crossings and roads carrying trade to China.
The three insurgent groups are backed by other armed groups opposing the government. This is the most serious setback faced but he junta since it seized power in February of 2021. The government has responded with airstrikes and artillery bombardments, displacing thousands of people. Despite the threat, the junta has not been able to bring in reinforcements to recover the ground it has lost. This attack is also significant because it is the first time that the well-armed insurgents in Shan State have aligned themselves and their military operations with the wider goal of overthrowing the junta and reestablishing democratic rule.