Myanmar’s ethnic conflicts obstruct COVID-19 aid to minorities

YANGON — Myanmar’s numerous unresolved ethnic insurgencies have made a cohesive national response to the global COVID-19 pandemic virtually impossible.

Until this week, the government had little or no contact with over a dozen armed groups, many of which are ranged along the borders with China and Thailand. Dissident minorities have so far been largely left to develop their own responses to the pandemic.

Along Myanmar’s northern border with China, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) — the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) — has been fighting Myanmar’s military since a 17-year ceasefire broke down in 2011.


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