Myanmar - Civil War

Rebel groups in Myanmar See summary

Recent articles:

mizzima.com Attorney General visits the Yangon Rule of Law Centre, reaffirms cooperation 06/25
mizzima.com Suu Kyi vows to bring exiled countrymen home 06/25
mizzima.com NLD hands back 232 acres of confiscated farmlands – rightful owners not happy 06/24
nzherald.co.nz Suu Kyi says trust must precede peace in Myanmar 06/24
dailytimes.com.pk Suu Kyi vows to bring Myanmar people home 06/24
turkishweekly.net Myanmar: Objections to new term for Rohingya build 06/23
thejakartapost.com Suu Kyi's trip to Thailand to tackle migrant workers' plight 06/23
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: After shooting of Kachin teen, protesters dispute Burma Army claims – Saw Yan Naing 06/22
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: War of lexicon in Arakan State – Wunna Kwanyo 06/22
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: UN Rapporteur avoids contentious terms with Arakan Chief Minister – Moe Myint 06/22
turkishweekly.net Myanmar: Nationalist party slams new term for Rohingya 06/21
burmanet.org Kachin News Group: KIA attack Burma Army camp in northern Shan State 06/21
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Government peace delegation asks ethnic groups to disarm – Saw Yan Naing & Lawi Weng 06/21
burmanet.org Eleven Myanmar: PNLO vows to work with all Myanmar people in peace process 06/21
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Myitkyina student shot dead after argument at army checkpoint – Naw Noreen 06/21
mizzima.com Myanmar’s Rohingya may be victims of ‘crimes against humanity’: UN 06/21
mizzima.com KNPP to discuss all-inclusive ceasefire with government 06/21
scmp.com Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya may be ‘crime against humanity’, as UN points to forced labour and sexual violence 06/20
mizzima.com Civil society must be part of peace process, says 88 generation leader 06/20
colombotelegraph.com Cluster Bombs Used In Sri Lanka’s Civil War, Leaked Photos Suggest – The Guardian 06/19
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: 13 youths sentenced for ties to Arakan rebels – Wunna Kwanyo 06/17
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Burma Army raids Mon National Liberation Army base – Lawi Weng 06/17
turkishweekly.net What Turkey expects from Myanmar’s new government 06/17
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: Burma Army obstructs civilians transporting food 06/17
burmanet.org Asia Times: What Turkey expects from Myanmar’s new government – Altay Atli 06/16
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy:Army demands three ethnic allies disarm before joining peace process – Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint 06/16
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: SSPP/SSA leader willing to broker talks between TNLA and Shan People 06/16
mizzima.com Myanmar censors ban movie at human rights film festival 06/16
nationmultimedia.com Myanmar scraps screening of film critical of military's past 06/15
mizzima.com All-inclusive ceasefire needed for peace says CNF Chairman 06/15
scmp.com Myanmar scraps screening of film critical of military’s excesses during its 49-year rule 06/15
nationmultimedia.com Myanmar censors ban movie at human rights film festival 06/15
aljazeera.com Dalai Lama urges Suu Kyi to ease Rohingya tension 06/14
khonumthung.org Nationwide ceasefire needs for peace in Myanmar: CNF President 06/14
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: UNFC proposes more negotiations prior to Suu Kyi meeting – Saw Yan Naing 06/14
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Ma Ba Tha monk denounces anti-Rohingya protest 06/14
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: ‘Twilight Over Burma’ to be reviewed by censorship board – Tin Htet Paing 06/14
burmanet.org Reuters: As Myanmar emerges from junta’s shadow, war veterans left behind – Timothy McLaughlin 06/14
burmanet.org Daily Sabah: Turkey will support Myanmar government solutions for Rohingyas, Foreign Minister says 06/14
reuters.com As Myanmar emerges from junta's shadow, war veterans left behind 06/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Woes mount for Kachin State’s IDPs as aid agencies cut funds – Moe Myint 06/10
burmanet.org Mon News Agency: NMSP to lead conference for all Mon nationals 06/10
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Ethnic peace delegation reviews political dialogue framework – Saw Yan Naing 06/10
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: ANP face mass walkout in Kyauktaw 06/10
burmanet.org Radio Free Asia: Shan and Kachin ethnic groups show support for Myanmar’s Panglong Conference – Aung Moe Myint 06/09
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Kachin conflict reaches five-year mark with calls for government action – Libby Hogan 06/09
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: KNO urges Pakistan to stop selling fighter jets to Myanmar – Ye Mon 06/09
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: Speaker warns MPs to avoid pointing out government weaknesses – Htoo Thant 06/08
burmanet.org Radio Free Asia: Myanmar government peace envoy to meet with Shan groups 06/07
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Burma Army, Arakan Army soldiers clash again in Arakan State – Moe Myint 06/06
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Ethnic armed groups to meet before Panglong – Lawi Weng 06/06
mizzima.com Non-ceasefire groups to participate in political dialogue framework meeting 06/06
burmanet.org Frontier Myanmar: Mong La Animal Market to be closed, authorities claim – Nyan Hlaing Lynn 06/06
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Army refuses to cooperate in murdered teachers investigation – Aye Nai 06/03
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Calls to legally define political prisoners rebutted in Parliament – Tin Htet Paing 06/03
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: NLD works toward ‘open door’ peace process – Nyein Nyein 06/03
burmanet.org ReliefWeb: Myanmar – New displacement in Northern Shan State (as of 31 May 2016) 06/02
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Kachin political prisoner overlooked in NLD’s Early Amnesties – Seamus Martov 06/01
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Child soldier in Arakan State returned to his family – Wunna Kwanyo 06/01
burmanet.org Irrawaddy: AmCham, UMFCCI to host conference on US investment – Kyaw Hsu Mon 06/01
burmanet.org Irrawaddy: Burma Army accused of torturing, killing civilians in Shan State – Nyein Nyein 06/01
burmanet.org Irrawaddy: Peace negotiator to meet NCA non-signatories – Nyein Nyein 05/31
mizzima.com Aung San Suu Kyi urged to halt Norwegian backed dam in Shan State 05/31
burmanet.org Irrawaddy: Bangkok wants Wa army bases withdrawn from Thai territory – Saw Yan Naing 05/31
mizzima.com Human Rights Commission investigating murder of Mon villagers 05/30
mizzima.com ‘Peace Park’ intends to turn battlefield into refuge 05/28
turkishweekly.net Last of initial Nauru refugees leaves Cambodia for Iran 05/27
burmanet.org Xinhua: Myanmar to reform Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee 05/27
burmanet.org Irrawaddy: Efforts to help Shan State IDPs hampered in Parliament – Lawi Weng 05/27
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Peace in Suu Kyi’s time? – Larry Jagan 05/27
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: The international community must speak out over abuse of civilians – Fiona Macgregor 05/27
burmanet.org Mizzima: NLD-led government must abide by UN ruling to release Lahpai Gam 05/27
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Clashes trap over 200 villagers in Shan state 05/26
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Burma Army stance hurting peace effort, say NCA signatories – Myo Zaw Linn 05/26
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Gunmen kill former village official in Maungdaw Township – Nang Mya Nadi 05/26
burmanet.org Frontier Myanmar: Ethnic parties seek united front – Hein Ko Soe 05/26
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Interview with RCSS/SSA Chairman Lt. Gen. Yawd Serk – Sai Aw 05/26
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Civilians beaten by Burma Army soldiers – Nyein Nyein 05/25
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Burma Army accuses KIA ‘operatives’ of Hpakant bombings 05/25
burmanet.org Mizzima: 50 villagers escape after being trapped in clashes – Phanida 05/24
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: KIO uses Panglong conference as a bartering chip – Ye Mon 05/24
burmanet.org Karan Information Center: KNU and Karen community groups work to draft ethnic affairs policies 05/23
burmanet.org Eleven Myanmar: TNLA, MNDAA and AA urge govt to solve conflict politically 05/23
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Village official gunned down in Hpakant – Nang Mya Nadi 05/23
voanews.com Kerry Arrives for Myanmar Meeting With Aung San Suu Kyi 05/22
dw.com Kerry urges Myanmar to progress on Rohingya human rights 05/22
bbc.co.uk Suu Kyi asks for 'space' on Rohingya 05/22
mizzima.com Local army commander to be questioned over Kachin teachers’ murder 05/21
mizzima.com NCA signatory groups hold workshop 05/20
mizzima.com Myanmar Army Continues to Clash with TNLA and SSPP/SSA 05/19
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Burma Army accused of torturing Shan villagers – Nang Mya Nadi 05/19
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Burma Army detains civilians after clash with SSPP/SSA 05/19
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Burma Army airstrikes bombard Kachin, Shan States – Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint & Nang Seng Nom 05/19
reuters.com Many Senate Democrats frustrated with slow U.S. Syrian refugee admissions 05/18
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Burma army carrying out airstrikes on KIA positions 05/18
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Burma army continues to clash with TNLA and SSPP/SSA 05/18
mizzima.com Myanmar Army forces clash with DKBA splinter group 05/17
mizzima.com ‘Many Kokang people are afraid of politics’ 05/13
scmp.com ‘NLD is rushing this’: Myanmar government proposes keeping junta curbs on right to protest and free speech 05/13
reuters.com New Myanmar government proposes keeping some junta curbs on protests 05/12

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.