Reporting from the war zone in Burma/Myanmar

The UN and the global community have failed to enforce an arms embargo against the Myanmar junta, which receives weapons from Russia and China, while private donors are prohibited from supplying weapons to the rebels.

Late in the afternoon on Easter Sunday, the Burmese army launched airstrikes against a Buddhist temple in Karen State, where civilians from the nearby village had taken refuge. Five-hundred-pound bombs rained down for more than 10 hours. There were no soldiers in the village, so the strike had no military objective. In the end, women and children were among the dead, as was the head monk, whose body was torn in half. The villagers will likely join the ranks of the roughly 2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Burma.

The IDPs have no UN protection and remain prime targets for the Burmese military. They also have little or no support from outside. Humanitarian aid given by the US, EU, and UN goes directly to the junta. These donations end up funding the war, displacing and killing the very civilians the outside world mistakenly believed they were helping.

Airstrikes and artillery barrages are now killing more civilians in Burma/Myanmar than anywhere else on Earth, including Ukraine.

Since the 2021 coup, the United Nations, US, EU, and most developed countries have agreed not to sell arms to the Myanmar junta. However, a binding arms embargo has been stymied by China and Russia, both members of the Security Council. In 2022, when the UK drafted a statement of concern about the crisis, China and Russia vetoed it.

The Burmese army receives economic support from China and purchases attack helicopters and fighter jets from both Russia and China. The fuel for the jets is provided by China and Russia, and possibly India, though India denies it. The Burmese army also receives small arms, artillery, armor, and training from both Russia and China.

An example of how ineffective the UN is: the Burmese junta is one of the most sanctioned pariah states on the planet, yet they have no shortage of weapons, and the UN is powerless to stop them.

The ethnic resistance armies, by contrast, have no heavy weapons, no aircraft, and no means of detecting or defending against airstrikes. They engage in combat with a mix of homemade weapons, Vietnam-era US weapons, shotguns, hunting rifles, muskets, crossbows, cheap Burmese and Chinese copies of quality weapons, and even bicycle pump guns (Yes, you read that correctly).

Karenni bicycle pump gun, Myanmar/Burma photo by Antonio Graceffo

What’s more, the rebels have no aircraft for resupply or troop transport. Consequently, the soldiers must travel on foot, carrying all of their equipment. Currently, one of the largest battles in Karenni State is taking place at the city of Loikaw. It takes approximately three weeks to walk there from the military base. The average Karenni soldier weighs about 121 lbs (55 kg). Carrying a Burmese MA-1 assault rifle, which weighs 4 KG, along with a backpack, uncooked rice, crew-served weapons like mortar rounds and ammunition, the gear quickly adds up, nearing their body weight. By the time they reach the front lines, they are hungry, weak, and ill-equipped.


Burmese assault rifles Myanmar/Burma photo by Antonio Graceffo


The rebels now control most of the jungle and rural areas, but across the country, the Burmese army still holds the cities and towns. They are entrenched and have surrounded their positions with landmines. The rebels cannot launch direct attacks due to the presence of landmines and the fear of airstrikes. Drones have proven successful, but the rebels lack an adequate supply of drones, and the junta now possesses drone jammers provided by Russia.

Private donors attempt to transfer weapons to the rebels, but transiting weapons through Thailand violates Thai law. Meanwhile, the junta is fine to receive airplane and shiploads of weapons at its air and sea ports, in violation of international sanctions.

Outrage expressed in a UN letter has not halted the flow of weapons to the junta.

Last week, two Myanmar nationals were arrested in Thailand attempting to deliver an anti-drone jammer to an address in Burma. They were arrested under Thailand’s Arms Control Act, which prohibits the transit of weapons through Thailand without a permit.

Thai authorities are capable of intercepting weapons passing through Thailand, but most of those are destined for the rebels. The UN and the international community are unable to prevent weapons and fuel from reaching the junta, despite the junta being sanctioned and recognized as “the bad guys” by everyone except China and Russia.

The law can prevent the good guys from having guns, but not the bad guys. This echoes the old saying: “In a world where guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

The post Myanmar: Only Bad Guys Can Have Guns appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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