Myanmar’s former Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi heads to trial today for criminal charges leveled against her earlier this
Myanmar’s former Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi heads to trial today for criminal charges leveled against her earlier this year.
Since Suu Kyi’s arrest, her trial has been consistently delayed, which has exacerbated fears of a prolonged and unfair legal process. In reaction, citizens have increasingly engaged in violent and politicized protests to voice their discontent with the ruling military junta, the Tatmadaw. Over 700 people have died in clashes with the country’s security forces.
Last week, the Tatmadaw labeled the ousted government as a shadow government. Known as the National Unity Government (NUG), the former government announced the establishment of a People’s Defense Force to combat the nation’s security forces. The NUG will incorporate the Kachin and Karen ethnic groups which actively combat the Tatmadaw and provide military training to the Civil Disobedience Movement – an anti-coup coalition that represents a broad swath of Myanmar society.
Myanmar’s violent conflict is rapidly escalating and Suu Kyi’s trial is a powder keg. If Suu Kyi is convicted, it is very likely that there will be an explosion of deadly conflict between the NUG and the Tatmadaw. This conflict is very likely to escalate to civil war in the near future.
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