Burmese government prepares for what ethnic rebels call a “genocidal war”
Rebel-controlled territory, Burma

The situation in Burma for pro-Democracy advocates has not improved, according to Amnesty International. Despite claims and assurances by the Burmese government that the arrest of political dissidents would cease, new research by the human rights organization finds that nearly 100 political prisoners have been taken since last November. According to Amnesty International director Catherine Barber, the new arrests have targeted those who have attempted to send evidence of the crackdown to the international community. The military junta has also delayed a promised visit with United Nations Envoy Ibrahim Gambari until April.

In other news: Since the beginning of the year, there have been four bombings aimed at civilians in Rangoon and other cities. Burma’s state-controlled media has blamed the attacks on ethnic rebel groups. The last bomb originated on a bus traveling from the state of Karen. The military junta has positioned 187 battalions in that State for their yearly dry season offensive against territory, which is controlled by the Karen National Union and its armed forces.

Zack Baddorf reports from rebel-controlled territory, where he finds fear the Burmese military is conducting a “genocidal war” against the Karen people.