El polvorín étnico de Myanmar

PRAGA – Han pasado ya dos años desde que Myanmar (Birmania) celebrara sus primeras elecciones generales después de más de dos décadas de dictadura militar. El voto popular fue aclamado como un paso importante en la transición del país del poder militar al poder civil, y se han logrado avances notables en el ámbito de la economía bajo el gobierno civil del presidente Thein Sein bajo. Sin embargo, si el país no puede resolver sus conflictos étnicos de larga duración, se pueden revertir todos estos avances.

Las relaciones turbulentas entre el Gobierno de Birmania y sus minorías étnicas se constituyen en un serio obstáculo en el camino hacia la estabilidad y la prosperidad que recorre este país. De hecho, la historia reciente de Birmania estuvo plagada por violencia étnica y conflictos prolongados con las fuerzas del gobierno, en especial en los Estados de Karen, Shan y Kachin.

Muchas de las minorías étnicas de Birmania – cuyos miembros representan casi el 40% de la población – han estado supeditadas por largo tiempo a la persecución y los malos tratos. Como resultado, a menudo albergan ira y resentimiento hacia el Gobierno, y algunas incluso levantan armas en resistencia. Existe el peligro real de que los opositores de la transición de Birmania podrían aprovechar estas tensiones azuzando los conflictos étnicos con el fin de hacer fracasar los esfuerzos de reforma.

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