What’s new? The 1 February 2021 coup d’état has intensified deadly conflict and ended Myanmar’s decade-old peace process involving its many ethnic armed groups. The Tatmadaw now faces a mix of new and reinvigorated adversaries, some of whom have begun to unite behind a collective vision for a genuine federal state.
Why does it matter? With the moribund peace process now over, the junta will try to dissuade ethnic armed groups from siding with the opposition. Neither the Tatmadaw nor the opposition appears likely to prevail anytime soon; the ensuing rise in conflict will have significant humanitarian consequences.
What should be done? Donors should shift focus from supporting the peace process to assisting people in conflict-affected areas. International actors should avoid pressuring ethnic armed groups into new ceasefires, engage with the parallel government and other opposition representatives, and work with local civil society organisations to address humanitarian needs.