Myanmar’s bleak april

The situation in Myanmar appears both bleak and worsening.

  1. Violence against protesters – especially the deaths of children – continues, appears to have hardened their resolve. Over 500 have been killed and over 2,700 detained.

  2. The government’s daily air strikes against ethnic minorities and the ethnic armies is a further escalation. Air strikes have been threatened against armed groups with bases on the Myanmar-Thai border, which will cause people to flee over the border and could lead to border clashes.

  3. Governments are initiating economic sanctions, but some analyses suggest these sanctions may not achieve much. And, China and Russia are blocking Security Council actions to cut off funds to generals.

  4. The government is shutting down Internet access and targeting journalists in an attempt to muffle the story.

  5. Over 23,000 are displaced, many across the border into Thailand.

With a confidence of 75% (e.g. I feel fairly strongly about this, but I’ve been wrong in the past), I estimate:

  • A continuation of the current status quo this week.

  • A worsening of the current situation, with fighting between the government and some of the other internal military forces, “more likely than not” (P>50/50) in the next 30 days.

  • Within the next 6 months, the potential for civil war-level violence seems to me possible (P>25%).

Few people want to see the violence continue. But at the moment, it doesn’t appear to me that action strong enough to dislodge the military junta is, can be, or will be taken, which means the current situation will continue and will spiral down further.