NAYPYIDAW, May 30 (Reuters) - Myanmar's ruling junta has lost control over vast tracts of territory, including access to much of its international borders, allowing ethnic armed groups to expand and consolidate regions under their control, two reports assessing the conflict said on Thursday.

The country of 55 million people has been in turmoil since February, 2021 when the military ousted an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking widespread protests.

The street demonstrations, which were met with a brutal crackdown, morphed into an armed resistance movement that has combined with many of Myanmar's ethnic rebel armies to pose the most significant challenge to the military in decades.

The junta does not have effective control of Myanmar, having lost complete authority over townships covering 86% of the country's territory that are home to 67% of the population, according to the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M).

A junta spokesman did not respond to a call from Reuters seeking comment.

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