News aggregator for armed conflict worldwide
mobile

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.

    Comment on this overview
 
Take Action (learn about relevant NGOs)

Stats:

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

Other Resources:

News up to:
khonumthung.org CNF Chairman cannot speak at Chin University students meet 04/29
mizzima.com Human Rights groups urge Myanmar to cooperate with UN fact-finding mission 04/28
scmp.com Rohingya villagers tell of Myanmar forces’ reprisal killings after insurgents’ deadly attack 04/27
realclearworld.com How Army Crackdown Reignited Myanmar's Muslim Crisis 04/25
globalsecurity.org Myanmar to resume peace talks with rebels in May 04/25
mizzima.com Amnesty calls for urgent action to be taken over death threats to Journalist 04/25
countervortex.org Control of oil, water at issue in Burma peace talks 04/20
mizzima.com Gap between Suu Kyi and West expands 04/17
npr.org Rohingya Families Flee Persecution And Suffering In Myanmar For Bangladesh 04/12
mizzima.com Achieve peace through dialogue rather than arms – Suu Kyi 04/12
mizzima.com Powerful Myanmar militia warns of action after police raid 04/11
reuters.com Myanmar reiterates no ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, even as investigations go on 04/11
stripes.com Myanmar says UN probe of Rohingya rights abuses unwanted 04/11
tribune.com.pk UNICEF official seeks release of detained Rohingya children in Myanmar 04/10
mizzima.com UN pushes Myanmar to release detained Rohingya children 04/09
reuters.com About 20 wedding guests dead as boat sinks in southwestern Myanmar 04/07
telegraphindia.com Rohingya threat 04/07
mizzima.com NLD researcher jailed for criticising army chief 04/07
aljazeera.com Myanmar's Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing of Rohingya 04/06
mizzima.com Suu Kyi rejects Rohingya ethnic cleansing claims 04/06
telegraph.co.uk Aung San Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing in Myanmar despite UN report into mass killings of Rohingya Muslims 04/06
voanews.com Rohingya Activist ‘Disappointed’ in Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi 04/06
mizzima.com Ethnic delegations meet in Chiang Mai 04/06
huffingtonpost.com Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Ethnic Cleansing Of Rohingya 04/05
dnaindia.com Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing of Myanmar minority 04/05
dw.com Myanmar leader Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims 04/05
mizzima.com UNFC agrees to pursue political dialogue 04/04
mizzima.com NLD wins string of seats in by-election, but is rejected by Myanmar’s minorities 04/03
telegraphindia.com Deportation plan for Myanmar refugees 04/03
thejakartapost.com Suu Kyi's party retains some support in Myanmar, loses some 04/03
voanews.com Suu Kyi's Party Retains Some Support in Myanmar, Loses Some 04/02
scmp.com Suu Kyi’s party wins string of seats in by-elections but is rejected by Myanmar’s minorities 04/02
foxnews.com Suu Kyi's party retains heartland support in Myanmar polls 04/02
dw.com Myanmar by-elections: Suu Kyi's party retains some support 04/02
dw.com Myanmar by-elections: Suu Kyi's party retains some support 04/02
aljazeera.com Suu Kyi wins half of seats in Myanmar by-elections 04/02
huffingtonpost.com Rohingya Rebel Leader Vows To Keep Fighting Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Unless She Protects Minority Muslims 04/01
timesofindia.indiatimes.com When black soldiers fought side by side with Indians 04/01
aljazeera.com Myanmar by-elections to test Suu Kyi's popularity 04/01
zeenews.india.com Aung San Suu Kyi`s new govt faces first test at Myanmar polls 04/01
mizzima.com Myanmar’s Suu Kyi defends first year in power 03/31
dnaindia.com EXCLUSIVE-Rohingya rebel leader challenges Myanmar's Suu Kyi, vows to fight on 03/31
globalsecurity.org Myanmar's Rohingya Insurgency Strikes Pragmatic Note 03/31
voanews.com Myanmar’s Rohingya Insurgency Strikes Pragmatic Note 03/30
reuters.com A year on, Myanmar's Suu Kyi acknowledges reforms have been slow 03/30
mizzima.com Myanmar Rohingya militants call for peacekeeping troops 03/30
mizzima.com State Counsellor discusses concerns in Kachin State 03/29
nzherald.co.nz Chinese military conducts training drill near Myanmar border 03/29
scmp.com Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim militants deny terrorist links 03/29
mizzima.com Myanmar stumbles on path to democracy under Aung San Suu Kyi 03/29
en.people.cn PLA drills a warning to Myanmar border conflict 03/29
dnaindia.com China holds military exercises at Myanmar border amid tensions 03/28
reuters.com A year on, regal Suu Kyi struggles to move Myanmar on from conflict 03/28
reuters.com China army drills on Myanmar border amid tensions 03/28
foxnews.com Myanmar's armed Rohingya militants deny terrorist links 03/28
globalsecurity.org Chinese military stages drills near restive Myanmar border 03/28
nationmultimedia.com Myanmar army chief defends military campaign in Rakhine 03/27
mizzima.com Myanmar rebuffs UN probe of crimes against Rohingya 03/27
globalsecurity.org Myanmar army chief defies UN calls, defends crackdown on Rohingya 03/27
zeenews.india.com Myanmar rebuffs UN probe of rape, murder crimes against Rohingya Muslims 03/25
mizzima.com Thai Government to ask 70,000 refugees to go home 03/24
newmandala.org Religion continues to divide Myanmar 03/24
mizzima.com China vows to respect Myanmar’s sovereignty 03/23
reuters.com Myanmar praises China for suspending rebels' bank account 03/22
nationmultimedia.com Key issues on agenda as Prayut meets UNHCR 03/22
cnn.com UN: 'Crimes against humanity' could be unfolding in Myanmar 03/21
reuters.com Exclusive: China's AgBank suspends account being used to crowdfund Myanmar rebels 03/21
dnaindia.com FACTBOX - The MNDAA: Myanmar's crowdfunding ethnic insurgent group 03/21
cnn.com UN official: 'Crimes against humanity' may be unfolding in Myanmar 03/21
dnaindia.com WIDER IMAGE-Rohingya newborns offer frail hope in face of Myanmar violence 03/20
mizzima.com Bridge name makes troubled waters for Myanmar’s Suu Kyi 03/20
mizzima.com Protest held against government plan to give citizenship to some Rohingya 03/20
nzherald.co.nz Myanmar hard-line Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya 03/19
dnaindia.com Bridge name makes troubled waters for Myanmar's Suu Kyi 03/19
scmp.com Bridge name creates troubled waters for Myanmar’s Suu Kyi 03/19
globalsecurity.org Myanmar extremist Buddhists protest Rohingya citizenship plan 03/19
mizzima.com MNDAA base taken by Myanmar Army 03/17
dw.com EU calls for UN fact-finding mission to Myanmar to probe rights abuses 03/16
dnaindia.com Kofi Annan calls on Myanmar to allow access to troubled area 03/16
reuters.com Exclusive: Children among hundreds of Rohingya detained in Myanmar crackdown 03/16
voanews.com As Civilian Displacement Surges, Myanmar Limits Aid Access 03/15
mizzima.com KNU’s 16th Congress begins 03/15
aljazeera.com Persecution path: Following Myanmar's fleeing Rohingya 03/15
voanews.com China Meets with Myanmar's Ethnic Armies in Attempt to Quell Fighting 03/15
reuters.com Dozens of Myanmar soldiers killed in rebel clashes near China border 03/14
scmp.com Myanmar may be trying to ‘expel’ all Rohingya in latest purge, UN human rights expert says 03/14
nationmultimedia.com Myanmar may be trying to 'expel' all Rohingya: UN expert 03/13
timesofindia.indiatimes.com Balochis want UN probe on rights violations by Pak 03/13
reuters.com Refugees surge into China as Myanmar ethnic border conflict escalates 03/13
aljazeera.com UN: Myanmar 'may be trying to expel' all Rohingya 03/13
bbc.co.uk 'Crimes against humanity' in Myanmar - UN rapporteur 03/10
mizzima.com Deadly clashes in Kokang affects people from both Myanmar and China 03/10
bbc.co.uk Hounded and ridiculed for complaining of rape 03/10
globalsecurity.org Over 20,000 Myanmar refugees enter China amid fighting between army, rebels: Beijing 03/09
mizzima.com Clashes empty out Myanmar town on China border 03/09
reuters.com China says more than 20,000 from Myanmar seek refuge across border 03/09
scmp.com More than 20,000 flee Myanmar conflict and cross border to China 03/09
aljazeera.com Thousands flee to China to escape Myanmar violence 03/09
bbc.co.uk Myanmar violence: 20,000 people seek refuge in China 03/09
mizzima.com More than 20,000 Myanmar refugees enter China 03/09