Myanmar orders government to prepare for emergency

STORY: As fighting continues to spread in Myanmar, thousands have fled across the border into India in recent days.

With the Indian foreign ministry saying on Thursday (November 16) it is deeply concerned about the situation close to the border.

As the conflict escalates, Myanmar’s military rulers ordered all government staff and those with military experience to prepare to serve in case of an emergency.

The announcement from an official on Thursday (November 16) came as the junta reported “heavy assaults” from armed insurgents in three states.

This footage posted on social media by the National Unity Government on November 9 purports to show its military setting fire to a government barrack in Kalay prison, northern Myanmar.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the location or the date when the videos were filmed.

Myanmar's military has battled ethnic minority and other insurgencies for decades.

But a 2021 coup, in which the military seized power, has brought unprecedented coordination between anti-military forces.

Speaking to Reuters on Thursday, analyst Jason Tower said the military was now facing an “existential crisis” as anti-junta insurgents mounted the biggest challenge to the army in years.

“Clearly, things are no longer sustainable for the Myanmar army. At some point, it's either going to have to give up very significant parts of of territory, or it might even be pushed to potentially make even bigger concessions. So, the Myanmar military, I think, is facing an existential crisis at this point.

In videos released online this week by anti-military forces in Kayah state in eastern Myanmar, wounded junta troops appear to be surrendering.

In the video the fighter can be heard telling junta soldiers, "We are ready to shoot you right now but we won't do that. You raise the white flag and walk out, nothing will happen to you.”

Reuters was able to confirm the location of the videos. It was not able to independently confirm the date they were filmed.

Clashes have sent refugees into all of Myanmar’s neighbours.

In addition to the thousands that have fled to India from the Northwest’s Chin state, escalating violence has also lead individuals to enter Chinese territory to seek asylum, according to China’s foreign ministry on Thursday.

Myanmar's Southeast Asian neighbors have tried to encourage a peace process but the generals have largely ignored their efforts.