In brief

Burma war escalates, 200,000 displaced in one month

Armed movements of stateless peoples take part in offensive against military dictatorship

A family in Kayah state moves in search of shelter.
A family in Kayah state moves in search of shelter. Author: UNOCHA/Siegfried Modola
A military offensive against the Burmese junta has escalated the armed conflict in the southeastern Asian country to one of the highest levels since the February 2021 coup. Fighting since the offensive began on October 27 has displaced more than 200,000 people. Since the war began, 2 million people have been displaced, according to UN data.

Burma’s war pits the ruling army, or Tatmadaw, against a coalition of groups under the National Unity Government (NUG), which brings together parties and elected members of the democratic government and parliament overthrown by the 2021 and unelected political-military movements of several peoples and stateless nations in Burma. The NUG considers itself the country's democratically legitimate authority and has a federal program.

NUG spokesman Kyaw Zaw says that the coalition “is staging coordinated attacks across the country” and believes it is possible to advance to the capital, Rangoon. There is only an eighth of the country controlled by the military junta, especially in the cities, according to the spokesman.

Among those taking part in the offensive are Shan, Ta'ang, Rakhine, Kachin, and Kayah groups.