A file photo dated on 31 January 2006 shows Karen National Union (KNU) guerillas as they parade during the 57th anniversary of Karen Resistance Day at the Karen National Union Army rebel jungle stronghold, Mu Aye Pu, Myanmar. EPA/FILE RUNGROJ YONGRIT

UN alarmed by surge in Myanmar violence that displaced over 30,000

Bangkok, Nov 7 (EFE).- The United Nations has expressed alarm over the escalation in violence in Myanmar, where clashes between guerrillas and the army have caused civilian casualties and displaced 33,000 people in the last two weeks.

“I can tell you that we are alarmed by the heavy fighting, particularly in Shan State in the northern part of the country, with reports of artillery shelling and airstrikes that led to civilian casualties, tens of thousands being newly displaced internally, and hundreds across the border,” UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters on Monday.

“Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that, since Oct. 26 nearly 33,000 men, women, and children have been displaced. This is causing humanitarian needs to surge.”

Code-named Operation 1027, the alliance of ethnic minority guerrilla groups in Myanmar began attacking the military in some cities of the northeastern state of Shan which borders China late last month.

The conglomerate, known as Brotherhood Alliance, consists of the Arakan Army (AA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).

Quoting local reports, the UN said last week that the alliance of three rebel groups seized towns in the country’s north and occupied over 90 army outposts.

The ruling military has acknowledged the loss of at least three towns to the guerrillas.

Troops from the Popular Defense Forces (PDF), mostly consisting of youngsters with no war experience, have also joined the armed struggle.

PDF is part of the National Unity Government (NUG), formed by senior members of the National League for Democracy of the ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military junta seized power in the Feb. 1, 2021, coup, which plunged Myanmar into semi-anarchy and exacerbated the decades-long conflict between the army and ethnic minority guerrillas.