As Radio Free Asia reported on 17 May 2023, hopes for a quick end to the war remain elusive, even though the regime has indicated its wish to revive the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: “With elections for the new leadership of the oldest ethnic armed group, the Karen National Union (KNU), whose leadership is traditionally predominantly Christian, the regime had hoped that the NCA, concluded in 2015, could be revived. However, the new KNU leadership dashed such hopes by stating that the ceasefire agreement is long dead and that the KNU would continue fighting until a federation is created, where individual ethnic minorities will all have their place. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military strength may be much weaker than previously thought - at least according to one observer (USIP, 4 May 2023). This could explain why government forces have lost control of large swathes of the country. At the same time, militias allied to government forces should not be left out of the equation. For the time being, the fighting will carry on relentlessly.”