Myanmar post-coup crackdown: 'We're heading towards a civil war'

·2-min read

Myanmar’s military junta’s deadly crackdown on protesters continues with reports emerging Saturday of more than 80 killed in the latest round of violence. The news came amid reports of a group of ethnic armies attacking a police station in northeastern Shan state, killing at least 10 officers. Professor David Camroux, Southeast Asia specialist at Sciences Po, told FRANCE 24 the country is “heading towards a civil war”.

The police station at Naungmon in Shan state was attacked early in the morning by fighters from an alliance that includes the Arakan Army, the Ta'ang National Liberation Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, local media reported.

Shan News said at least 10 policemen were killed, while the Shwe Phee Myay news outlet put the death toll at 14.

"We have now got a junction between the civil disobedience movement, which is essentially in the main cities in the Myanmar heartlands, and also the armed ethnic organisations, which have under their command some 100,000 soldiers," Camroux explained.

"We need to raise the question of which is the legitimate government of Myanmar. We now have a government in exile being set up ... who say they have abolished the 2008 constitution which gave these particular powers to the military. They are talking about creating a new constitution to create a federal democracy."

"Once this government in exile is [officially} recognised then we can then talk about invoking what is called R2P ... when a state asks for the support of the international community to deal with an internal problem."

More than 600 people have been killed by the military in the crackdown on protests against the February 1 coup, according to a monitoring group. As violence has escalated, about a dozen armed groups have condemned the junta as illegitimate and vowed to stand with the protesters.

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