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The Four Cut Strategy

Myanmar is also known as Burma and lies in the South East Asia. It is surrounded by countries like Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China and India. It has a population of 54 million with main region being Buddhism. There are many ethnic groups in the country. The country gained independence from the British in 1948. It was ruled from 1962 until 2011 by army and later came under a civilian rule. 

The Myanmar coup began on 1st February 2021 when democratically elected members of Myanmar’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were overthrew by the Tatmadaw-Myanmar’s military.  Military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken over the power. They seized control after Ms Suu Kyi’s NLD won the elections. The military has declared a yearlong state of emergency. 

The four cut strategy was first developed in 1960’s. This strategy was basically developed when Myanmar military also known as the Tatmadaw was struggling to fight community Party of Burma and Myanmar’s ethnic group named Karen National Union (KNU). In the strategy, it targeted every person and village, which ever or was giving ties with this union.

The ‘four cut’ was a doctrine which was designed to server insurgents from keys inputs like funding, food, intelligence and recruits. Myanmar used the same strategy in Kachin state following a ceasefire between Tatmadaw and Kachin Independence Organisation collapsed in 2011. In addition to the Karen State, the armed forces have also used the strategy in areas such as Kachin and Rakhine state in 2017 when its clearance operations led to fleeing of Muslim Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh and India.

After seizing the power from the elected Government in a coup since February this year it appears they have returned to the old strategy to push back the resistance to their rule.  Since the coup, the Tatmadaw have appeared to use the strategy across the country including the areas that are populated by the ethnic Bamar majority. According to local media there, Security Forces looted homes in Central Magway region’s Gangaw Township which led to killing of four people while more than 10,000 flee into the forests nearby. In the other instances houses have been burnt too. 

The condition in the country is worsening day by day and lives are threatened too. As per the reports, as the Tatmadaw violence is increasing so is the Victim’s hate towards the security forces making them more determined of their destruction.