Myanmar - Civil War

Rebel groups in Myanmar See summary

Recent articles:

mizzima.com President Thein Sein willing to serve a second presidential term 07/31
aljazeera.com Magazine: Life and death along the Thai-Myanmar border 07/31
cpj.org Five Myanmar journalists freed from prison as part of mass amnesty 07/31
independent.co.uk Burma frees almost 7,000 prisoners including hundreds of foreigners 07/30
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: Talks fail to end DKBA and Burma Army Fighting 07/29
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Landmine kills elderly woman in Hsenwi Township 07/28
burmanet.org Mizzima: Ethnic parties could challenge NLD 07/28
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: ‘Elections are the end of the beginning’ with Christoph Burgener – Nyein Nyein 07/28
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: Karen general warns off Burma army 07/28
burmanet.org International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH): Burma/Myanmar : Killing of Mr. Johnny – International Federation for Human Rights 07/28
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: Military MP warns against decentralization – Htoo Thant 07/28
nzherald.co.nz Death toll in northern Myanmar flooding rises to 14 07/27
sify.com 'Pakistani terrorists radicalising Rohingya Muslims' 07/27
burmanet.org The Wall Street Journal: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Skips Conflict-Torn State on Campaign Trail: The Rohingya minority has become a political tinderbox for democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi – Shibani Mahtani 07/27
burmanet.org Mizzima: Karen Women’s Groups: Government must release Naw Ohn Hla 07/27
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Asia highway closed as Burma army, DKBA exchange fire – Nyein Nyein 07/27
asiapacific.anu.edu.au Gender and Myanmar’s Kachin conflict 07/26
foxnews.com Monsoon-triggered flooding in northern Myanmar kills 9, affects thousands 07/25
dawn.com Thai general among 72 to be indicted over human trafficking 07/25
nzherald.co.nz Flooding in northern Myanmar leaves 9 dead 07/25
mizzima.com Optimism over NCA signing 07/24
nzherald.co.nz Myanmar ethnic peace talks recess without peace agreement 07/24
dailytimes.com.pk Thai general among 72 indicted over human trafficking : July 24, 2015, 12:23 pm 07/24
bbc.co.uk 'Human traffickers' face Thai charges 07/24
khonumthung.org Chin political parties plan to work together in 2015 elections 07/24
khonumthung.org Leader of Zo Reunification Organization, R.Thangmawia dies 07/24
mizzima.com DKBA sacks Brigadier General Saw Kyaw Thet and Colonel Saw San Aung 07/24
upi.com Thailand indicts over 100 in human trafficking roundup 07/24
mizzima.com Academics and activists to unite behind Aung San Suu Kyi 07/24
khonumthung.org Zomi Democracy party selects candidates for 2015 polls 07/24
mizzima.com Myanmar peace talks in crunch phase as polls loom 07/24
dalje.com 72 indicted on human trafficking charges in Thailand 07/23
thediplomat.com Illegal Logging Throws a Wrench Into China-Myanmar Relations 07/23
foxnews.com Myanmar sentences 153 Chinese nationals to life in prison for illegal logging 07/22
voanews.com Myanmar Gives 153 Chinese Life in Jail for Illegal Logging 07/22
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: A region scarred by war struggles to recover – Wa Lone 07/21
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Sino-Burmese border market shelled – Shwe Aung 07/21
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Burma replaces senior air force officer after stray China bomb – Aung Hla Tun 07/21
burmanet.org Foreign Policy: Seize the moment for peace – Aung Min 07/21
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Civil society reps blast Burma’s opaque extractive industries – Yen Snaing 07/21
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: SNDP withdraws from Shan constituency to avoid vote-split – Nang Mya Nadi 07/21
mizzima.com Relief groups struggle to reach Kachin civilians 07/21
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: ‘A step back before moving forward’: Ceasefire talks to resume – Shwe Aung 07/21
burmanet.org The Diplomat: Will military conflict in Myanmar derail its elections?: Armed conflict could jeopardize upcoming polls in the country – Shawn W. Crispin 07/21
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: In Burma’s conflicts, both sides betray children – Charu Lata Hogg 07/21
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Civilians injured in ongoing fighting in Hpakant – Lawi Weng 07/21
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: Police name local suspects in Kachin teachers’ murder – Ye Mon  07/21
globalsecurity.org Myanmar military 'to respect outcome of parliamentary elections' 07/20
mizzima.com Government forces clash with KKO over weekend 07/20
kachinnews.com Airstrikes, clashes in Kachin state's Putao district displace civilians 07/18
mizzima.com KKO plans attack on Government troops 07/17
mizzima.com Ceasefire negotiations to resume 22 July 07/17
jamestown.org In a Fortnight: Myanmar's Leaders Court China Despite Violence Along Border 07/17
burmanet.org Independent Mon News Agency: Woman’s party to contest 15 constutuencies 07/16
mizzima.com Clashes continue in Kayin State 07/16
burmanet.org Eleven Myanmar: Call for vice-presidents to be chosen from MPs 07/16
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: MP calls on U Than Shwe to break constitution deadlock – Ei Ei Toe Lwin 07/16
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Military presence grows in Hpakant amid further clashes – Nyein Nyein 07/16
burmanet.org Myanmar Times: Soldiers tell how they killed journalist, as hearing ends – Lun Min Mang 07/16
mizzima.com KIA launches rocket attack on government forces 07/16
chinadaily.com.cn Myanmar's Kachin ethnic group launches rocket attack on gov't forces 07/15
mizzima.com Government forces seize weapons from Kayin fighters 07/15
dawn.com Pakistanis among 150 migrants detained in Turkey 07/14
burmanet.org ?Democratic Voice of Burma: Court rules Par Gyi died from ‘unnatural causes’ – Naw Noreen 07/14
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: 220,000 Displaced in northern Burma as Burma Army attacks despite ceasefire 07/14
mizzima.com Opposition parties discuss strategy ahead of elections 07/14
mizzima.com Myanmar youth strike a pose against hate in selfie campaign 07/13
mizzima.com Government retakes control of Myawaddy-Kawkareik road 07/13
scmp.com Myanmar youth strike a pose against hate in selfie campaign 07/12
dailytimes.com.pk In Myanmar, ethnic loyalties could crimp Suu Kyi’s party 07/11
bangkokpost.com NLD confirms Myanmar poll bid 07/11
sify.com Myanmar: A new theatre of rivalry in South Asia 07/10
chinadaily.com.cn Myanmar president pledges to hold clean, free, fair election 07/09
mizzima.com Ethnic parties could challenge NLD 07/08
reuters.com In Myanmar, ethnic loyalties could crimp Suu Kyi's party 07/07
mizzima.com Clashes continue in Kayin State 07/07
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Government summons ethnic peace team, defends ceasefire draft – Lawi Weng 07/07
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Military MP opposes charter reform due to Burma’s ‘democratic inexperience’ 07/07
burmanet.org Mizzima: Armed conflict in Kachin and parts of Shan State continues 07/07
mizzima.com Myanmar clashes put Thai military rangers on alert 07/06
mizzima.com DKBA and Government forces clash on Asia Highway 07/03
mizzima.com Military uses forced labour in Rakhine’s border areas 07/03
wsj.com Myanmar's Suu Kyi Skips Conflict-Torn State on Campaign Trail 07/02
mizzima.com Karen Women’s Groups: Government must release Naw Ohn Hla 07/02
reuters.com Forced labor shows back-breaking lack of reform in Myanmar military 07/02
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: 220,000 displaced in northern Burma and Burma army attacks despite ceasefire   07/01
asiapacific.anu.edu.au A state of peace for Myanmar? 06/30
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Interview: KIA Major speaks about recent conflict in Kachin with Tang Hseng – Nang Mya Nadi 06/30
burmanet.org Al Jazeera: Myanmar fighting spurs mass displacement – Vincenzo Floramo 06/29
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: 2 police injured by bomb blast in Hpakant – Zarni Mann 06/29
burmanet.org Shan Herald Agency for News: Wa and Burma Army resolve logging tension 06/29
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Military court sentences soldier to 7 years of misconduct – Nang Seng Nom and Lawi Weng 06/26
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Suu Kyi worries that reform is a ‘total illusion’ 06/26
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Interview: KIA Major speaks about recent conflict in Kachin – Nang Mya Nadi 06/26
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Fresh fighting in Hpakant sends 100 villagers fleeing – Lawi Weng 06/25
burmanet.org Karen Information Center: Burma and Arakan armies accused of violations against Chin civilians 06/25
burmanet.org Democratic Voice of Burma: Election 2015: Women’s party (Mon) seeking registration – Naw Noreen 06/25
burmanet.org The Irrawaddy: Following Suu Kyi’s footsteps, ethnic politicians set to visit China – Khin Oo Tha 06/25
burmanet.org Global New Light of Myanmar: OIC special envoy visits Myanmar 06/25
mizzima.com Ethnic negotiators likely to meet government in July 06/24

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.