Myanmar - Civil War

Rebel groups in Myanmar See summary

Recent articles:

burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Amid peace talks, health cooperation in Karen State sends positive signals 04/18
shanland.org Golden Jubilee of Shan State Army founding to be held at SSA HQ 04/18
globalsecurity.org Fighting Intensifies in Northern Burma 04/17
tamilguardian.com Burmese soldiers killed in conflict against Kachin rebels 04/17
burmanet.org Eleven Media Group: Fighting rages in Kachin State during Thingyan 04/17
voanews.com Fighting Intensifies in Northern Burma 04/16
burmanet.org PBS: Inside Myanmar’s transition from isolation to openness 04/15
burmanet.org Radio Australia: Myanmar’s ethnic minorities forced to flee their homes 04/15
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Making opium (and the past) go away 04/14
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Dr Cynthia responds to Thameelay villagers 04/14
burmanet.org Burmanet 04/14
kachinnews.com Burma commander-in-chief warns of war 04/12
bnionline.net Fighting starts on last census day 04/12
kachinnews.com Kachin state's NDA-K region to get park for rare monkey 04/11
globalsecurity.org Myanmar: UN welcomes establishment of probe into recent attacks on aid workers 04/11
bnionline.net National park designated in NDAK territory 04/11
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Hundreds flee as census-related clashes break out in Kachin 04/11
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: In Moulmein, a hospital continues its long battle with leprosy 04/11
turkishpress.com Turkish parties criticize U.S. decision on Armenian allegations 04/11
burmanet.org UN News Centre: Myanmar: UN welcomes establishment of probe into recent attacks on aid workers 04/10
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Armed groups, government still disagree on Burma ceasefire wording 04/09
turkishpress.com Myanmar to provide security for returning aid workers 04/09
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: TNLA deny forced conscription, killing of Lisu people 04/09
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: Wa will decide to take part in nationwide ceasefire 04/09
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: While talks continue, KIO keeps war footing 04/08
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Shan, Wa rebels clash over gold in Eastern Burma 04/08
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: As census winds down, 85% of Burmese population counted: Official 04/08
bnionline.net Disagreements delay talks on national ceasefire agreement 04/08
app.com.pk UN voices serious concern over worsening situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state 04/07
un.org UN expert alarmed at worsening human rights situation in Myanmar's Rakhine state 04/07
thediplomat.com Inside Myanmar’s Karen State 04/07
bnionline.net A long war’s lingering reminder 04/04
burmanet.org Irrawaddy: TNLA clashes with Burma Army as census continues 04/04
bnionline.net Sexual violence by Burma army still a major concern 04/04
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: UN’s Nambiar urges greater KIO commitment to peace as battles rage in Kachin 04/04
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Karen State government refuses villagers’ resettlement in rebel area 04/04
kachinnews.com Sexual violence by Burma army still a major concern 04/03
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Palaung rebels forcibly recruit villagers, kill those who refuse, say Lisu locals 04/02
burmanet.org Mizzima News: Palaung push for distinct ethnic code for census 04/02
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Burma authorities halt villagers’ journey to new homes in rebel territory 04/02
burmanet.org Asian Correspondent: Full extent of anti-NGO attacks in western Burma emerging 04/02
reuters.com U.S. calls for end to humanitarian curbs in Myanmar's Rakhine 04/02
bnionline.net Explosion heats up census 04/01
bnionline.net Finland hosting conference on dialogue and mediation 04/01
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: Census off to a bad start in Rakhine State 04/01
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Kachin National Park planned to protect monkey threatened by logging 04/01
shanland.org Finland hosting conference on dialogue and mediation 03/31
atimes.com Foreign aid agencies flee Myanmar riots 03/31
khonumthung.org Explosion outside CNF liaison office in Tidim 03/31
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: U Mann Nyein Maung on Myanmar’s peace process and the future of the KNU 03/31
dw.de Myanmar protests against foreign aid workers escalate 03/28
un.org Myanmar: UN official calls on authorities to ensure safety of aid workers, premises 03/28
foxnews.com Buddhist-led mobs in western Myanmar attack international aid workers' homes 03/27
nzherald.co.nz Buddhist mobs in Myanmar attack aid workers' homes 03/27
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Army Chief says ethnic conflicts must end for Burma’s development 03/27
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Foreign aid workers ‘huddled’ in Sittwe police station 03/27
reuters.com Protesters opposed to Myanmar census attack NGO offices 03/27
shanland.org Tiger Head party pledges to build genuine federal union in Burma 03/27
voanews.com Buddhist Mob Attacks International Aid Group Office in Burma 03/27
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Opponents slam Thein Sein’s anniversary speech 03/27
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Burma’s badly needed census may have come too soon 03/26
thekashmirwalla.com The Rohingya Conflict 03/26
mizzima.com Tatmadaw must end indiscriminate attacks on civilians, says US university’s human rights report 03/26
globalsecurity.org Burma President Affirms Slowly Declining Role for Military 03/26
shanland.org Burma Army arrests and tortures suspected of associating with SSA 03/26
burmanet.org Businessweek: Myanmar’s growing—and dangerous—jade trade 03/25
straitstimes.com Myanmar army role to be 'gradually' decreased: president 03/25
bnionline.net Burma Army arrests and tortures suspected of associating with SSA 03/25
atimes.com A federal army for Myanmar? 03/24
bnionline.net 2,000 Civilians Flee Burma Army Attacks 03/22
bnionline.net DAMS, LIES AND PIPELINES 03/21
foxnews.com Turning a new leaf? Ethnic rebels along Myanmar's rugged frontier help eradicate poppy fields 03/20
bnionline.net Mongla to call for self administered status 03/20
bnionline.net Kaman Muslims oppose Rohingya replacing Bengali titles 03/20
bnionline.net Arakan National Party receives official recognition 03/19
turkishpress.com Myanmar ploughs ahead with census despite growing ethnic tensions 03/19
bnionline.net President airs hopes for a peaceful Myanmar 03/18
bnionline.net Yawdserk not messing around with Thailand’s internal affairs 03/18
scoop.co.nz UN Expert Report: Brighter Future for Myanmar Ethnic Groups 03/18
shanland.org Mongla to call for self administered status 03/18
bnionline.net Burma Army Shoots Aid Worker 03/17
thediplomat.com The Tatmadaw’s Divide-and-Rule Tactics in Myanmar 03/17
bnionline.net A Census Too Soon? 03/17
mizzima.com President airs hopes for a peaceful Myanmar 03/17
shanland.org Yawdserk not messing around with Thailand’s internal affairs 03/17
mizzima.com Rakhine State protests oppose ‘Rohingya’ as census category 03/16
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Karen monks, pastors voice support for peace process 03/14
burmanet.org Eleven Media Group: Government-sponsored MPC is not trustworthy, say ethnic federations 03/14
burmanet.org The New York Times: Ban on doctors’ group imperils Myanmar sect 03/14
bnionline.net International Rivers Day: Ethnic Groups Demand Govt To Halt Salween Dam Projects 03/14
burmanet.org The Wall Street Journal: Burma’s ethnic persecution is state policy – Matthew Smith 03/14
shanland.org Highway construction for Salween dam at Kunlong impacts local people 03/14
bnionline.net Most White Card holders in Rakhine State, says house panel 03/14
bnionline.net Nationwide Ceasefire: Process To Draft Agreement Begins 03/14
bnionline.net Military did not launch offensives, says senior officer 03/13
mizzima.com Most White Card holders in Rakhine State, says house panel 03/13
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Government, ethnic groups one step closer to ceasefire 03/12
burmanet.org Eleven Media Group: Military calls for ceasefire deal to be signed by August 1 03/12
bnionline.net Joint committee to draft nationwide ceasefire agreement 03/12
mizzima.com Military did not launch offensives, says senior officer 03/12

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.