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Myanmar - Civil War

Rebel groups in Myanmar

Summary

Myanmar (aka Burma) has been in a state of constant civil war since independence in 1948. Powerful elements within the Burman (or Bamar) ethnic group, who constitute about 60% of the population and 40% of the land mass, have felt that they should dominate the country’s social, economic, and political realms. However, Myanmar is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world with key non-Burman ethnic groups demanding equality with the Burmans in the three public realms, specifically the protection of ethnic culture, language, and religion, the devolution of tangible executive, legislative, and judicial power to the ethnic states within a true federal union, and a democratic form of government. With their demands unmet, the ethnic groups turned to armed insurgency. Despite many political and military alliances among them, they have been unable to use these alliances to best advantage because of cultural differences and diverse agendas.

The civil war and the perceived threat of secession by ethnic states from Myanmar led in 1962 to a military coup. Since then, the military has dominated the affairs of the country seeing itself as the sole force capable of holding the country together. The military’s dictum is “one country – one army.”

The major non-Burman ethnic groups are the Arakanese, Chin, Kachin, Shan, Karenni, Karen, and Mon, all of which have their own states in which they are the dominant ethnic group. All these states have ethnic insurgent activities of varying intensities against the Myanmar military (aka Tatmadaw). The Tatmadaw has been employing a “Four Cuts” counterinsurgency strategy which attempts to deny the ethnic insurgents access to food, funding, information, and recruits. Also the Myanmar regime policies have led to the impoverishment of and human rights abuses toward the ethnic peoples leading hundreds of thousands of them to seek safety in adjacent countries – Thailand, China, India, and Bangladesh, through resettlement in other countries, and as internally displaced persons in the jungle inside Myanmar.

The following are the current most active ethnic armed groups fighting against the Myanmar regime for ethnic rights, federalism, and democracy and to stop human rights abuses against their respective ethnic groups:
Arakan (aka Rahkine) State: Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) and the Arakan Army (AA).
Chin State: Chin National Army (CNA).
Kachin State: Kachin Independence Army (KIA)
Shan State: Kachin Independence Army (KIA), United Wa State Army (UWSA), National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA Mongla), Shan State Army - South (SSA - S), Shan State Army - North (SSA - N), Wa National Army (WNA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Lahu Democratic Front (LDF), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), and the Pa’O Peoples Liberation Army (PPLA).
Karenni (aka Kayah) State: Karenni Army (KnA) and the Kayan New Land Party (KNLP).
Karen (aka Kayin) State: Karen National Defense Organization/Karen National Liberation Army (KNDO/KNLA) and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).
Mon State: Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA).

Additionally in Arakan State, the Rohingya National Army (RNA), is fighting against the regime for religious rights and the recognition of the Rohingya people as an ethnic group with special geographic areas set aside in Arakan State for them to institute Islamic laws and practice their culture as Muslims. These aspirations are a source of conflict between them and the Arakan Buddhists who consider the Rohingya as migrant Bengali Muslims with no legitimate claim to ethnicity in Myanmar.

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Stats:

HIIK Conflict Barometer 2008: 3
Economist Intelligence Unit Sovereign Ratings: Rating CC

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News up to:
mizzima.com Activists reject Myanmar’s new Rakhine body as Annan visits 12/03
nationmultimedia.com Malaysia hits out at Myanmar over 'ethnic cleansing' 12/03
mizzima.com Union Minister calls for Northern Alliance – Burma members to be declared terrorist organisations 12/03
aljazeera.com Malaysia: Myanmar pursues ethnic cleansing of Rohingya 12/03
nationmultimedia.com Former UN chief Kofi Annan arrives in Myanmar's Rakhine State 12/02
reuters.com Former U.N. chief Annan visits Myanmar's northwest amid Rohingya crisis 12/02
nationmultimedia.com Rohingyas to be sent back, says home minister 12/02
scmp.com Asia in 3 minutes: Thais get their new king, Muslims take to the streets against Chinese Christian leader 12/02
thejakartapost.com Rohingyas to be sent back: Bangladesh minister 12/02
nationmultimedia.com Activists reject Myanmar's new Rakhine body as Annan visits 12/02
foxnews.com Kofi Annan begins visit to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state 12/02
dnaindia.com Kofi Annan begins fact-finding visit to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state 12/02
globalsecurity.org Kofi Annan arrives in Myanmar to probe army abuse against Muslim minority 12/02
aljazeera.com Rights group: Act now to avoid Rohingya genocide 12/01
dw.com 'No easy solution' to the Rohingya problem in Myanmar 12/01
mizzima.com Myanmar’s Suu Kyi vows ‘reconciliation’ amid Rohingya crisis 12/01
mizzima.com At least 10,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh: UN 12/01
myaccount.nytimes.com Myanmar’s Leader Faulted for Silence as Army Campaigns Against Rohingya 12/01
nationmultimedia.com Malaysia axes Myanmar matches over Rohingya crackdown 12/01
stripes.com A genocide in the making in Myanmar 12/01
mizzima.com Political parties call for Intervention by NDSC 11/30
scmp.com China offers Myanmar support to end ethnic unrest near border 11/30
aljazeera.com UN: Rohingya may be enduring 'crimes against humanity' 11/30
dnaindia.com Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi vows 'reconciliation' amid Rohingya crisis 11/30
chinadaily.com.cn Patrol strengthened along the China-Myanmar border 11/30
dw.com Myanmar's Suu Kyi seeks 'reconciliation' amid growing Rohingya violence 11/30
nationmultimedia.com Review Myanmar's Asean membership, urges Malaysia minister 11/30
mizzima.com Mizzima Editorial: A dangerous step backwards 11/30
dw.com Myanmar's Suu Kyi seeks 'reconciliation' amid growing Rohingya violence 11/30
zeenews.india.com Myanmar Rohingya abuse may be `crimes against humanity`: UN 11/30
mizzima.com Myanmar’s Suu Kyi delays Indonesia trip amid Rohingya crisis 11/29
mizzima.com Myanmar Rohingya abuse may be ‘crimes against humanity’: UN 11/29
thejakartapost.com Lawmaker calls for quick action in Rohingya case 11/28
mizzima.com Myanmar police arrest Muslims over Yangon bombings 11/28
mizzima.com Death of a baby as unwanted Rohingya hunt for a home 11/28
globalvoices.org Myanmar’s Refugee Returnees Struggle to Build New Lives 11/28
reuters.com How a rebel Myanmar tin mine may up-end a global supply chain 11/28
impunitywatch.com Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: Atrocity Alert: South Sudan, Burma/Myanmar and Iraq 11/28
scmp.com Death of a baby as unwanted Rohingya hunt for a home 11/26
mizzima.com Thai activists protest ethnic cleansing of Myanmar’s Rohingyas 11/26
mizzima.com Critics round on Myanmar’s Suu Kyi over Rohingya crisis 11/26
nationmultimedia.com Myanmar police arrest Muslims over Yangon bombings 11/26
thejakartapost.com Rally calls for revocation of Aung San Suu Kyi's Nobel Peace Prize 11/25
nationmultimedia.com Thousands deployed to secure Rohingya solidarity rally in Jakarta 11/25
thejakartapost.com Police provide security at Myanmar Embassy during Rohingya solidarity rally 11/25
thejakartapost.com Thousands in Bangladesh protest deaths of Myanmar's Rohingya 11/25
mizzima.com Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta expects second day of protests 11/25
nationmultimedia.com Islamists call on Bangladesh to let in persecuted Rohingyas 11/25
foxnews.com Myanmar ethnic rebels deny attempting to derail peace talks 11/24
thejakartapost.com Nov. 25 rally about solidarity for Rohingya: HMI 11/24
mizzima.com Bangladesh to send back Rohingya fleeing Myanmar unrest 11/24
dw.com UNHCR in Bangladesh accuses Myanmar troops of killings, rape, arson in Rohingya communities 11/24
voanews.com On Myanmar-China Border, 'Rebel Radio' Extends Reach of Kachin 11/23
khonumthung.org Chin Civil Society Network (CCSN) visits to Mizoram state 11/23
reuters.com Hundreds more Myanmar Rohingya flee to Bangladesh: aid workers 11/22
mizzima.com Chinese hurt in Myanmar clashes 11/22
zeenews.india.com Hundreds of Rohingya cross into Bangladesh, fleeing unrest 11/22
en.people.cn China accepts over 2,000 Myanmar refugees 11/22
scmp.com Hundreds of Rohingya cross into Bangladesh after fleeing violence in Myanmar 11/22
nationmultimedia.com Hundreds of Rohingya cross into Bangladesh, fleeing unrest 11/22
scmp.com China says 3,000 cross border from Myanmar to escape fighting 11/22
stripes.com China says it is caring for refugees from Myanmar fighting 11/22
mizzima.com Thousands flee Myanmar clashes to China: Beijing 11/22
nationmultimedia.com China vows to protect citizens on Myamar border 11/21
mizzima.com Three ‘handmade bombs’ explode in Yangon supermarket: official 11/21
mizzima.com China urges all parties to exercise restraint to end conflict in Myanmar 11/21
mizzima.com Dozens flee Myanmar battles 11/21
reuters.com China says 3,000 flee Myanmar after fighting along border 11/21
reuters.com Hundreds more Myanmar Rohingya flee to Bangladesh: aid workers 11/21
csmonitor.com Fighting in northeastern Myanmar puts China's army on alert 11/21
globalsecurity.org Hundreds Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar to Bangladesh over past three days: Aid workers 11/21
globalsecurity.org Military conflicts break out in northern Myanmar amid gov't peace efforts 11/21
globalsecurity.org Defense ministry: China's army on high alert in wake of armed conflicts in northern Myanmar 11/21
zeenews.india.com Myanmar government faces new crisis as ethnic armies attack military 11/21
scmp.com Who and what are behind Myanmar’s long-running civil war on China’s doorstep? 11/21
dnaindia.com China puts army on high alert after fighting in northeastern Myanmar 11/21
scmp.com China turns blind eye to mainland supporters of ethnic Chinese rebels fighting in Myanmar 11/21
voanews.com HRW: Rohingya Homes Destroyed in Myanmar 11/21
en.people.cn China calls for restraint from all sides in Myanmar 11/20
en.people.cn Heavy clashes occur in northern Myanmar town 11/20
reuters.com China puts army on high alert after fighting in northeastern Myanmar 11/20
mizzima.com Failing to strictly follow the NCA causes recent fighting in Shan State 11/20
tribune.com.pk 2 dead in fighting in Myanmar town on China border 11/20
en.people.cn Military conflicts break out in northern Myanmar amid gov't peace efforts 11/20
telegraph.co.uk China puts army on high alert after fighting in northeastern Burma 11/20
mizzima.com Fighting breaks out between Tatmadaw and KIA in Monepaw in northern Shan State 11/20
nationmultimedia.com Melbourne bank fire suspect identified as asylum seeker from Myanmar 11/19
mizzima.com 30,000 displaced by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine: UN 11/19
mizzima.com ‘Still making amends’: haunted life for Myanmar’s child soldiers 11/18
reuters.com Myanmar rejects reports army killed Rohingya fleeing Rakhine conflict 11/18
nationmultimedia.com 30,000 displaced by violence in Myanmar's Rakhine: UN 11/18
aljazeera.com Rohingya flee Myanmar crackdown to Bangladesh 11/17
foxnews.com Rohingya advocates say Myanmar deaths exceed 100 11/16
usatoday.com You can see the purge of Myanmar's Rohingyas from space 11/16
af.reuters.com Hundreds of Rohingya flee Myanmar army crackdown to Bangladesh-sources 11/16
globalsecurity.org Myanmar troops have killed 150 Rohingya Muslims, advocacy group says 11/16
nationmultimedia.com Former UN chief 'deeply concerned' over Myanmar violence 11/16
dnaindia.com Myanmar army says 86 killed in fighting in northwest 11/15
mizzima.com Around 200 Rohingya stranded at Bangladesh border 11/15
globalsecurity.org 30 killed as Myanmar's army intensifies crackdown on Muslims 11/15