Friday, March 1, 2024

FROM OPERATION 1027 TO NATIONWIDE OPERATION: Common political denominator between the anti-junta camps a necessity

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The expected speedy downfall of the General Min Aung Hlaing-led military junta or State Administration Council (SAC) may not be around the corner, but the tendency is definitely moving in that direction.

According to the news sources the junta is losing ground militarily and politically at a lighting speed and if this continues regime change maybe inevitable. But one most important ingredient which is still missing to make the final push and that is none other than the solidified ethnic-democratic alliance, which at the moment can be termed as a loose alliance at best, without adequate cooperation and coordination, whose members are pitching at the junta on their own initiatives. In other words, there isn’t a political pact and strategic common roadmap on how to end and defeat the military tyrannical rule.

The loose alliance is none other than the so-called Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Karen National Union (KNU) and Chin National Front (CNF), dubbed as (K3C) and the National Unity Government/People’s Defence Force (NUG/PDF). However, it should also be noted that the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) is also part of the ethnic-democratic loose alliance, especially in military operation matters.

Then we have the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) made up of with 7 members. The Arakan Army (AA), KIA, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) or Kokang, National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) or Mongla, Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and United Wa State Army (UWSA), of which some are in active combat conflict situation mode with the junta and the others remaining neutral, if not exactly to its definition.

The Three Brotherhood Alliance soldiers holding hands
The Three Brotherhood Alliance soldiers holding hands.

The Three Brotherhood Alliance (3BHA) members are AA, MNDAA and TNLA, whose troops are launching “Operation 1027” against the military junta, with a lot of success overrunning more that 150 military positions of the junta and seizing a few big towns, including effectively cutting the trade routes between China and Burma’s Shan State in the north, besides capturing huge arsenal from multitude of small arms, multiple rocket launchers, tanks to howitzers.

The 3BHA has now vowed to upgrade the Operation 1027 to become Nationwide Operation starting November 27, according to the alliance battle news report. Recently, the AA has opened up a new front in Rakhine State on November 13 and also penetrated into Sagaing Division. So it seems the war theatre is expanding at an alarming pace.

The remaining NDAA and UWSA although both have declared to be neutral and won’t take sides in the armed conflict between the junta and Spring Revolution elements, including the Operation 1027 enablers, the reality is that both are suppliers of arms and ammunitions to both anti-junta camps. The UWSA even go so far as to announce that violations of its air space and territories will be drastically countered with whatever it has at its disposal, without territorial restriction in its response. Thus the message is clear that its ultimatum aims at the possible intrusion of the junta as it is the only party which has air force and has been using it against its opposition groups quite effectively without discrimination, whether they are military targets or civilian ones.

Oddly enough, the FPNCC member SSPP also position itself to be neutral, but clashed twice with the TNLA in September and November twice this year for misunderstanding and territorial disputes, with the latter encounter causing four killed in actions on both sides in the ensuing firefights.

Meanwhile, in Arakan (Rakhine) State, Chin State, Karenni State, Sagaing and Magwe divisions the anti-junta groups are gaining ground taking over junta’s military camps, towns and limiting the junta’s ability to conduct offensive and pushing it to employ defensive position for the first time in recent years.

In sum, it is clear that militarily the anti-junta groups are gaining ground and momentum. But more has to be done in political solidarity front among ethnic-democratic alliance if the junta is to be defeated speedily.

Three Brotherhoods Alliance soldiers
Three Brotherhoods Alliance soldiers.

For now the there are two such anti-junta umbrella groups one is the NUG and the other Operation 1027 led by 3BHA. The NUG with its National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) is supposed to be an alternative government to the junta’s SAC. But the Operation 1027 is strictly a military spearheaded group with the intention to get other ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) or ethnic revolutionary organizations (EROs) joining the military alliance fray, to overthrow the junta.

The only problem is with only military cooperation to overthrow the SAC is not enough to garner international community backing as an alternative entity to replace the present military junta. In the same vein, the NUG/NUCC although it has political and military goals which aims at leading to the establishment of genuine federal democratic union, the stakeholders involvement is not all-inclusive and comprehensive yet and more need to be done.

In this respect, the Spring Revolution and Operation 1027 enablers would need to set up a common agenda of political aspirations that encompass all ethnic nationalities, ethnic minorities, minorities of all strives within the mould of federal democratic union. In other words, a social contract among all stakeholders would have to be in place, which in clear text means agreement on a transitional federal democratic union constitution.

If the detailed constitution couldn’t be drawn at the moment, a temporary one that denotes basic, core agreement should be worked out, so that a badly needed common political outlook and aspirations could be agreed upon.

And if such an agreement can be worked out, the common military agenda of uprooting the military junta could continue with more renewed, loaded energy, as the common political aspirations is already in place.

Thus, it is high time that the said two camps should try to work out a common political agenda for the whole country as soon as possible, so that the momentum gained by the Operation 1027 could be morphed into Nationwide Operation as envisioned by the 3BHA.

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