Myanmar - Civil War

Rebel groups in Myanmar See summary

Recent articles:

voanews.com Asia's Boat People: Smuggled or Trafficked? 05/27
burmanet.org Agence France-Presse: Myanmar explosives injure five in China 05/27
nationmultimedia.com Myanmar nationalists rally against pressure over boat people 05/27
aljazeera.com Thousands of migrants 'lost at sea' off Southeast Asia 05/27
turkishweekly.net 4 Kachin rebels killed in clashes with Myanmar army 05/26
burmanet.org Deutsche Presse-Agentur International: Thailand calls regional meeting on migrant crisis 05/26
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: ‘Secret garden’ in Wa special region leaves much to the imagination – Lawi Weng 05/26
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Submarines on the shopping list 05/26
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Kokang conflict intensifies north of Laogai – Nang Mya Nadi and Echo Hui 05/26
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Women’s Party registration bid rejected by UEC 05/26
burmanet.org Phophtaw: Ethnic groups vow not to secede from the union 05/26
burmanet.org Khonumthung: CNDP holds workshop for 2015 election 05/26
scoop.co.nz Australia’s response to the Rohingya Asylum Seekers 05/26
turkishweekly.net Thailand, Myanmar urged to improve migrant policies 05/25
thejakartapost.com Indonesia to send Bangladeshis home 05/25
asiapacific.anu.edu.au Re-shooting the elephant 05/24
scmp.com Why Aung San Suu Kyi has stayed silent on the plight of Rohingya 05/23
bangkokpost.com The big issue: Let them eat what? 05/23
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: ‘The changes so far are superficial, designed to ease pressure’ – Nyein Nyein 05/22
mizzima.com Somalia’s Shebab condemns ‘savage Buddhists’, urges help for Rohingya 05/21
hosted.ap.org Rohingya migrant crisis eases, but hard questions remain 05/21
asiapacific.anu.edu.au Making sense of Myanmar’s continuing conflicts 05/21
mizzima.com Muslim boatpeople deserve ‘human rights’: Myanmar opposition 05/20
mizzima.com Army Chief blames MNDAA for shelling inside China 05/20
huffingtonpost.com Thai Navy Threatened To Shoot Boat Full Of Stranded Refugees, Survivor Says 05/20
nzherald.co.nz Turkey to donate $1 million to help Asia migrant crisis 05/20
foxnews.com Turkey pledges $1 million to help Asia migrant crisis, trying to reach stranded migrants 05/20
en.people.cn China urges Myanmar to fully investigate shell falling 05/20
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: KNU leader rapped for ‘no transparency’ in peace process – Lawi Weng 05/20
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Woman’s party won’t budge on name change, risking UEC approval – Yen Snaing 05/20
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Government forces using airstrikes against Kachins – Shwe Aung 05/20
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Ceasefire can go ahead despite Kokang conflict, says Aung Min – Shwe Aung 05/20
burmanet.org Mizzima News: ‘Killings, beheadings, disappearances’ instill fear of return among Kokang refugees 05/20
bangkokpost.com Blaming Brits again 05/20
dw.de UN urges strengthening of rescue efforts for Asian refugees at sea 05/19
voanews.com Myanmar Army Blames Ethnic Rebels for Shelling Inside China 05/19
foxnews.com Myanmar's army chief blames ethnic rebels for recent shelling inside China 05/19
bombaynews.net Delhi Slum Better Than Life in Myanmar Rohingyas Say 05/19
dnaindia.com Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia to meet amid Rohingya, Bangladeshi migrant boat crisis 05/18
bangkokpost.com Police link army man to boat people 05/18
mizzima.com Government troops ‘seize last stronghold of Kokang rebels’ 05/16
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: ‘People weren’t very interested in the voter lists’ – Wei Yan Aung 05/15
mizzima.com Farmer allegedly murdered by govt troops 05/15
turkishweekly.net Rights groups urge SEA not to push back migrant boats 05/14
sify.com WRAPUP 3-Migrants land in Indonesia, but hundreds pushed back to sea 05/14
turkishweekly.net Indonesia says did not tow migrant boat from its waters 05/14
turkishweekly.net US concerned about Myanmar refugees stranded at sea 05/14
khonumthung.org Refugees need more aid in Paletwa Township 05/14
burmanet.org Reuters: Thai army finds six more bodies near suspected human trafficking camp – Surapan Boonthanom 05/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Long road for ‘world’s wordiest’ ceasefire text – Aung Naing Oo 05/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: The core issues not addressed – Bertil Lintner 05/13
burmanet.org Foreign Policy: Why Kokang rebels are giving fits to Burma’s military – Wai Moe 05/13
huffingtonpost.com Asia Refugee Crisis Escalates As Thousands Stranded At Sea Are Refused Rescue 05/13
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Interview: Ethnic leader vows to keep Kokang in peace process 05/13
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Government says it has ‘no time’ for joint KIO probe – Naw Noreen 05/13
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Burma tests out Russian jets in KNLA territory – Naw Noreen 05/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: At least 20 people to face charges for alleged Arakan Army ties: Police – Tun Tun 05/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: 3 ethnic rebel groups threaten rejection of nationwide ceasefire – Lawi Weng 05/13
burmanet.org Radio Free Asia: Myanmar army offensives could threaten peace deal with armed ethnic groups 05/13
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Burma Army battalion HQ attacked by unknown forces 05/13
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: UWSA will not sign draft NCA 05/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: As summit closes, ethnic leaders say unchanged charter cripples peace deal – Lawi Weng 05/13
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Locals left shaken after military maneuvers in Pegu Division’s Taungoo 05/13
mizzima.com IOM calls on SE Asia to rescue thousands of migrants stranded at sea 05/12
voanews.com Thailand, Malaysia Step Up Border Action as Refugee Crisis Mounts 05/12
dw.de Southeast Asian nations brace for refugee influx 05/12
mizzima.com Widow will appeal journalist’s murder decision 05/12
voanews.com Myanmar Court Acquits 2 Soldiers of Killing Journalist 05/12
burmanet.org Mizzima News: Nay Pyi Taw open to request for new players in peace 05/12
bbc.co.uk VIDEO: Migrants 'exploited and tortured' 05/11
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Ethnic peace conference to begin in Wa territory 05/11
nationmultimedia.com IOM calls on SEAsia to rescue thousands of migrants stranded at sea 05/11
bbc.co.uk 'Thousands' stranded off Thailand 05/11
mizzima.com ‘Killings, beheadings, disappearances’ instill fear of return among Kokang refugees 05/11
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Mongla rebels say ‘full control’ of regions brings development – Lawi Weng 05/11
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: More fighting in northern Karen State 05/11
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Case of slain journalist returns to court, but family say they weren’t invited – Nobel Zaw 05/11
bangkokpost.com Salween dam projects jeopardise fragile ceasefire accords 05/11
burmanet.org Narinjara: Sittwe group donates to refugees 05/11
sify.com WRAPUP 2-Thailand, Malaysia step up border action as refugee crisis mounts 05/11
nzherald.co.nz 500 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar wash to shore in Indonesia 05/10
dw.de Almost 500 Rohingya Muslims rescued off Indonesia coast 05/10
hosted.ap.org Over 500 Rohingya, Bangladeshis land on Indonesia shore 05/10
bbc.co.uk VIDEO: Fight for justice for Myanmar reporter 05/10
reuters.com Hundreds, mainly Rohingyas, rescued off Indonesian waters 05/10
usatoday.com 500 Burmese Rohingya Muslims sail to Indonesia 05/10
bangkokpost.com The big issue: The business of selling humans 05/09
khonumthung.org CMMT clarifies on ceasefire violation between government and CNF 05/08
khonumthung.org CNDP holds workshop for 2015 election 05/08
nationmultimedia.com Govt troops/KIA resume battles in Kachin 05/08
ww4report.com Burma opium war spills into China 05/08
reuters.com Myanmar president meets ethnic rebel leader in peace push 05/08
reuters.com Thai army finds six more bodies near suspected human trafficking camp 05/06
mizzima.com Three Ethnic Groups threaten to pull out of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement 05/06
cnn.com Thai police find second human trafficking camp 05/05
mizzima.com Suspicions persist over signing of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement 05/05
dailytimes.com.pk US voices concerns to Myanmar party head on race, religion bills 05/05
mizzima.com Myanmar based Naga rebels suspected of attack on Assam Rifles 05/04
reuters.com U.S. calls for speedy inquiry into Thai mass grave 05/04
timesofindia.indiatimes.com Nagaland ambush: 4 outfits claim responsibility 05/04

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.