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Internal conflict in Myanmar

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Title: Internal conflict in Myanmar  
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Subject: April 2010 Yangon Thingyan Bombings, May 2005 Yangon Bombings, October 2013 Myanmar bombings, All Burma Students' Democratic Front, Chin National Front
Collection: 2010S Civil Wars, 20Th-Century Conflicts, 21St-Century Conflicts, Civil Wars Involving the States and Peoples of Asia, Civil Wars Post-1945, Communism-Based Civil Wars, Coup-Based Civil Wars, Ethnic Conflicts, Ethnicity-Based Civil Wars, History of Myanmar, Internal Conflict in Myanmar, Ongoing Conflicts, Politics of Myanmar, Religion-Based Civil Wars, Revolution-Based Civil Wars, Separatist Rebellion-Based Civil Wars, Wars Involving Myanmar
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Internal conflict in Myanmar

Internal conflict in Myanmar

Map of Myanmar and its provinces
Date 4 January 1948 – present
(68 years, 2 weeks and 2 days)
Location Myanmar (Burma)



Republic of the Union of Myanmar (since 2011)

Former combatants:
Union of Myanmar (1948–1962)

Military governments (1962–2011)

DKBA (1994–2010)

Anti-government factions:
KNU (since 1949)

MNDAA (since 1989)
NDAA (since 1989)
SSAN (since 1971)
SSAS (since 1996)
UWSP (since 1988)

KIO (since 1961)

CNF (since 1988) Mujahideen
ABSDF (since 1988)
Arakan Army (since 2009)
Karenni Army (since 1949)
...and others

Supported by:
 United States[2]

Republic of China (1948–1953)[4]
Commanders and leaders

Thein Sein (since 2011)

Naw Zipporah Sein
Yang Mao-liang
Yawd Serk
Wei Hsueh-kang
Twan Mrat Naing
Bo Nat Khann Mway



43,000 (1951)[3]
200,000 (1989)[6]
289,000 (1995)[7]

350,000-450,000 (2002)[8]


  • 4,000+ (1951)[3]


  • 1,500-2,000 (1998)[11]

Karenni Army: 800-1,500[9]
6,000 (1951)[3]
14,000 (1949)[4]
Unknown numbers of various other factions

50,000-55,000 (2015)[14]
60,000-70,000 (1988)[16]
50,000 (1998)[17]

15,000 (2002)[18]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

250,000-500,000 killed in total[19][20]

600,000-1,000,000 displaced (2012)[21]

The Internal conflict in Myanmar (also known as Burma) refers to a series of civil conflicts within Myanmar that began after the country became independent from the United Kingdom in 1948. The conflict has been described as one of the world's "longest running civil wars".[22]


  • Background 1
  • Timeline 2
    • Post-independence conflict (1948–1962) 2.1
    • Post-coup conflict (1962–1988) 2.2
    • 1988 Uprising 2.3
    • Post-Cold War conflict (1988–present) 2.4
  • Main fronts 3
    • Kachin State 3.1
    • Kayah State (Karenni State) 3.2
    • Kayin State (Karen State) 3.3
    • Rakhine State (Arakan State) 3.4
    • Shan State 3.5
  • Political discontent 4
  • Human rights violations 5
  • International Responses 6
  • Foreign support 7
    • Thai involvement 7.1
  • Ceasefire negotiations 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


After independence from the United Kingdom in 1948, left-wing insurgent groups such as the armed wing of the Communist Party of Burma, and rebel groups such as the Karen National Union (KNU) were founded, due to the discontent towards the newly formed post-independence government. The communists and ethnic minority groups believed that they were being unfairly excluded from running the country, and thus grew discontent towards the ruling parliament. In the early 1960s, after the central government refused to consider becoming a federal government, more ethnic minority groups began forming armed insurgent groups to fight for self-rule and self-determination. By the early 1980s, politically motivated armed insurgencies had largely disappeared, while ethnic-based insurgencies continued. Many insurgent groups have had peace negotiations and truces with successive military governments since 1962; however, most of these negotiations failed, or were temporary.[23]


The conflict is generally divided into three parts: insurgencies during the post-independence period under parliamentary rule (1948–1962), insurgencies during post-coup military rule in the Cold War (1962–1988), and insurgencies in the post Cold War era, under military rule and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (1988–present).

Post-independence conflict (1948–1962)

Before the coup d'état of 1962, the two largest anti-government factions in Myanmar were the communists, led by the Communist Party of Burma (CPB), and ethnic Karen rebels, led by the Karen National Union (KNU). The two groups have fought the central government since Myanmar became independent from the United Kingdom. The CPB was one of the various factions which fought for Burmese independence, and had many strongholds within Myanmar. The KNU favored an independent Karen state, forged out of a large part of Outer Myanmar (Lower Burma). Because of their size, ethnic the KNU became a major rebel force in post-independence Myanmar; resulting in an increase of military reliance in Myanmar.

Post-coup conflict (1962–1988)

CPB rebels walk back to their bases after failed peace talks. (1963)

After three successive parliamentary governments ruled Myanmar, the military, led by General Ne Win, conducted a coup d'état which ousted the previous government. Widespread accusations of severe human rights violations and abuses immediately followed, and the cabinet of the parliamentary government and insurgent leaders were arrested and detained without trial.[16] It was also around this time that other ethnic minority groups began forming larger rebel factions, such as the Kachin Independence Army; this was in response to the new government's refusal to adopt a federal government structure.

Ne Win held peace talks with opposition parties and rebel factions immediately after the coup and in 1972, but both times failed due to the government rejecting the proposal to readopt a multi-party system. After negotiations failed, rebel soldiers and insurgents walked back to their bases, with headlines across Myanmar reading "They Go Back" (သူတို့ပြန်ကြလေပြီ). Private property was confiscated by the government, and the Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) was founded in 1974. Under General Ne Win's 26 year dictatorship, Myanmar became an isolated hermit kingdom, and one of the least developed countries in the world. When student protests broke out in the capital and spread throughout Myanmar in 1988, the BSPP was ousted and a military junta took over.[17]

1988 Uprising

On 8 August 1988, nationwide student demonstrations spread throughout Myanmar, as the country's citizens protested against the socialist regime.[24] The uprising ended on 18 September 1988, after a military coup was enacted by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).

Authorities in Myanmar claimed that around 350 people were killed[25][26] during the uprising and a high number of deaths have been attributed to the military.[27][28][29] According to the Economist, over 3,000 people were killed in the public uprising.[30] As a result of the uprising, the new government agreed to sign separate peace treaties with certain insurgent groups. Because the 1988 uprising was mostly politically motivated, ethnic rebel groups did not receive much support from ruling or opposition political parties in Myanmar. The Tatmadaw severely weakened ethnic rebel groups, destroying most of their bases and strongholds in the 1990s.

Post-Cold War conflict (1988–present)

From 2006 until 2015, the Tatmadaw conducted an immense offensive against the Karen National Union in Karen State, which resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. One estimate claimed that approximately half a million people have been displaced within eastern Myanmar due to armed conflict and forcible relocation of villages.[31][32]

In August 2007, approximately 160,000 Burmese refugees fled to the Thai border provinces of Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi, and refugee camps were established (mostly near the Myanmar–Thailand border). Approximately 62% of the refugee population consists of people of the Karen ethnic group. Humanitarian organizations have been formed to assist and support the refugees.

In 2011, the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) launched a military offensive named "Operation Perseverance" (ဇွဲမန်ဟိန်း) against insurgents in Shan State.[33] During the offensive, the Tatmadaw captured territory from the National Democratic Alliance Army and Shan State Army (North), with the Shan State Army being involved in most of the battles. The offensive was in response to rebel factions refusing to accept Myanmar's "One Nation, One Army" policy.[34][35][36][37][38][39]

In 2007, hundreds of thousands of monks defied the government's rule, but were severely cracked down upon. In 2010, the government introduced a new constitution, and Aung San Su Kyi and thousands of other political prisoners were released.

On 19 November 2014, Myanmar soldiers attacked the Kachin Independence Army's headquarters near the city of Laiza, killing at least 22 rebels.[40]

Main fronts

Kachin State

The Christian, while Burmese people have been predominantly Buddhist.[41]

Ceasefire agreements have been signed by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the government many times; most notably a ceasefire signed in 1994, that lasted for 17 years until June 2011, when government forces attacked KIA positions along the Taping River, east of Bhamo, Kachin State.[42]

In 2012 alone, fighting between the KIA and the government resulted in around 2,500 casualties; 211 of whom were government forces. The violence has also resulted in the displacement of nearly 100,000 civilians, and the complete or partial abandonment of 364 villages.[20][43][44][45]

Kayah State (Karenni State)

For the past few decades, the goal of the Karenni Army had been to obtain independence for Kayah State, formerly known as Karreni State.[46] According to a pro-Karenni Army website, the group's grievances include: "Exploitation and rapid depletion of the natural resources, forced sale of agricultural products, extortion, forced labour, forced relocation of whole villages and crops, destruction of houses, planting of mines around crops and villages, torture, rape, extra-judicial killings, burning of villages, expropriation of food supplies and livestock, arrest without charge, false accusations and exploitation of the poor." [46] The Karenni Army is currently led by General Bee Htoo,[46] and consists of between 800 and 1,500 soldiers.[9]

Kayin State (Karen State)

The Karen people is one of Burma's largest ethnic minorities, consisting of around 7% of Myanmar's total population. The Karen people have struggled for independence since 1949, after the Army Chief of Staff, General Smith Dun, a Karen, was fired and replaced by Ne Win, a Burmese nationalist.[47] The initial aim of the Karen National Union (KNU) was independence for Kayin State (also known as Karen State), but since 1976 the people have called for a federal system with Karen representation, rather than an independent Karen state. However, all demands and negotiations have been refused by successive governments of Myanmar. By early 1995, the headquarter and main operating bases of the KNU were lost, with 3,500 to 4,000 men remaining under arms. Up until that year, the government of Thailand had been supporting rebels across its border, but soon stopped its support due to new economic deals with Myanmar. A 30-year gas supply deal was made between the two governments, which helped supply natural gas to Thailand's major cities, and add $400 million to Myanmar's annual budget.[48]

Rakhine State (Arakan State)

Internal conflict has been ongoing in Rakhine State ever since 1947, with ongoing racial prejudice towards Rohingyas. The political rights of the Rohingya people have been an underlying issue in the conflict; bouts of violence such as the 2012 Rakhine State riots have periodically occurred as a result. The Rohingya people, who number about 800,000 in the three northernmost Rakhine townships, have been legally discriminated against in Myanmar for decades. They have also not been recognized by the government as one of the ethnic groups in Myanmar, and thus do not have citizenship. The Arakan Army have fought government forces in Rakhine state since its founding in 2009.[49]

Shan State

Shan leaders began fighting the central government after the government failed to fulfill promises and negotiations made in the 1947 Panglong Agreement. The agreement guaranteed the rights of self-determination, equality and financial management. The agreement was between the ethnic Shan and Burmese leader (General Aung San), who convinced the Shan leaders to join him in gaining independence from the United Kingdom. The agreement also gave the Shan, Kachin, and Chin states the option to separate from Myanmar after 10 years if the state leaders were not happy with the Burmese government. This however, was not honored.[4]

Shan rebel factions first began appearing after the Burmese government sent thousands of troops into Shan State, in response to a large number of Kuomintang soldiers fleeing from communist forces in China in 1950. The Kuomintang had planned to use the region east of the Salween river as a base from which to launch offensives into China. By March 1953, Kuomintang soldiers, allegedly with assistance from the United States, were on the verge of occupying nearly the entire Shan State, and within a day's march of the state capital, Taunggyi. However, Kuomintang forces were driven back by Burmese soldiers, across the Salween river. A small Kuomintang presence was still in eastern Shan State after their defeat.[4]

During the Burmese military presence in Shan state, the local Shan people were allegedly mistreated, tortured, unlawfully arrested, robbed, killed and raped by military personnel. As a result, on 21 May 1958, the Shan people began to arm themselves and attack the Burmese soldiers. The resistance movement, led by Sao Noi and Saw Yanna, fought for the independence and freedom of Shan State and its people. Today, the strongest resistance group in Shan State is the Shan State Army (SSA) led by Sao Yawd Serk. The SSA maintains bases along the Shan-Thai border. The SSA signed a ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein's government on 2 Dec 2011.

The government and SSA agreed in principle to the following 11 points on 16 January 2012:

  1. To allow SSA headquarters in Homain sub-township and Mong Hat sub-township
  2. To negotiate and arrange the resettlement of SSA troops and their families in the locations mentioned in the first point
  3. The appointment by the SSA of village heads in the region, which would work with government official for township administration;
  4. Government soldiers in Homain sub-township and Mong Hat sub-township will give help to the SSA
  5. Both sides will discuss and negotiate to arrange for the security of SSA leaders
  6. Government troops and the SSA would negotiate to designate areas where they could enter border areas;
  7. Each side agreed to inform the other side in advance if one side wants to enter the other's control area with weapons
  8. To open liaison offices between the government and the SSA-S in Taunggyi, Kholam, Kengtung, Mong Hsat and Tachileik and trading offices in Muse and Nanhkam
  9. Government ministers will arrange for SSA-S members to run businesses and companies in accord with existing policies, by providing aid and the required technology
  10. To cooperate with the union government for regional development
  11. To cooperate with the government in making plan for battling drug trafficking

Political discontent

Some rebel factions, such as the Karen National Union, have fought for independence from Myanmar since 1949. Other rebel factions have fought for regional autonomy, or a federal style government, in which every province would receive some level of provincial government. Past ceasefire agreements and treaties have failed to recognize rebel demands for political freedom and/or self-determination, resulting in most, but not all, of the ceasefires being temporary.[23][50]

During the 1988 uprising, Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a national symbol for democracy, after leading the largest opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The military junta arranged an election in 1990 and Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a majority of the vote. However, the military junta refused to recognize the results and instead placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years.

Aung Sun Su Kyi has been silenced by the Myanmar government in the past, put under house arrest, and has been struggling to run for president for many years. In November 2014, the NLD, attempted to make amendments to the constitution, in response to a clause that made Aung San Suu Kyi ineligible to run for president. These amendments however, were rejected.[51]

Human rights violations

The conflict has resulted in a large number of both civilian deaths and refugees, with many refugees fleeing to Western Thailand, around [54][55]

According to Refugee International, there are currently about 75,000 Rohingya refugees in Myanmar.[56] UNICEF has reported that living conditions in Rohingya refugee camps in Rakhine State are "wholly inadequate" and lacks access to basic services.[57] Historically, the persecution of Burmese Indians and other ethnic minority groups in Myanmar after the 1962 coup has led to the expulsion of nearly 300,000 people.[58] More than 200,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh over the last 20 years to escape persecution.[59] The Rohingya people have been described by the United Nations as "among the world's least wanted" and "one of the world's most persecuted minorities."[60] Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has also threatened Myanmar with terrorist attacks, after their "terror network" expanded into India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.[61]

The government of Myanmar has been accused of using "scorched earth" tactics against the Karen people in the past, including (but are limited to) burning down entire villages, planting land mines, using civilians as slave labor, using civilians as minesweepers, and the rape and murder of Karen women.[62] According to a report by legal firm DLA Piper, whose report was presented to the United Nations Security Council, these tactics against the Karen have been identified as ethnic cleansing.[63]

Both sides have been accused of using landmines, which have caused hundreds of accidental civilian injuries and deaths. The Karen National Union (KNU) has been accused of planting landmines in rural areas, most of which have not been disarmed. Victims of landmines must travel to the Thai-Myanmar border to seek treatment, as local hospitals and facilities lack proper equipment and funding.[64]

Both sides have also been accused of using thousands of

  • Mizzima News India-based news group run by exiled dissidents. See also: Mizzima News
  • Democratic Voice of Burma Norwegian-based radio station that provides news to the people of Burma
  • BBC News: The fighting spirit of Burma's Karen (2007)
  • Help without frontiers – German relief organisation working for Shan and Karen refugees living in Camps on the border line to Thailand and inside of Burma
  • MyanmaThadin Myanmar (Burma) News & Community Hub

External links

  • Kipgen, Nehginpao. "Democracy Movement in Myanmar: Problems and Challenges." New Delhi: Ruby Press & Co., 2014. Print.

Further reading

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Richard, p. 88
  4. ^ a b c d
  5. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies; Hackett, James (ed.) (2010). The Military Balance 2010. London: Routledge, pp. 420-421. ISBN 1-85743-557-5.
  6. ^ Heppner & Becker, 2002: 18
  7. ^ Heppner & Becker, 2002: 18-19
  8. ^ Heppner & Becker, 2002: 19
  9. ^ a b c d Burma center for Ethnic Studies, Jan. 2012, "Briefing Paper No. 1"
  10. ^
  11. ^ Rotberg, Robert (1998). Burma: prospects for a democratic future. Brookings Institution Press. p. 169.
  12. ^
  13. ^ AP, 4 May 2012, Myanmar state media report battles between government troops, Kachin rebels killed 31
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Pavković, 2011: 476
  17. ^ a b Bertil Lintner (1999). Burma in revolt: opium and insurgency since 1948. Bangkok: Silkworm Press. ISBN 978-974-7100-78-5.
  18. ^ Myanmar: Armed forces. Encyclopedia of the Nations.
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b KIA claims 211 Tatmadaw soldiers have died in two months of fighting in Hpakant, 10 Oct. 2012,
  21. ^ Janie Hampton (2012). Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-54705-8.
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Licklider, R. (1995). The Consequences of Negotiated Settlements in Civil Wars, 1945–1993. The American Political Science Review, 89(3), 681.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Ottawa Citizen. 24 September 1988. pg. A.16
  26. ^ Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. 26 September 1988
  27. ^ Ferrara (2003), pp. 313
  28. ^
  29. ^ Wintle (2007)
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ Fuller, T. (4 April 2013). "Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy". The New York Times.
  42. ^
  43. ^ 31 dead in new clashes with Kachin: Myanmar News, 5 May 2012,\05\05\story_5-5-2012_pg14_7
  44. ^ Lanjouw, S., Mortimer, G., & Bamforth, V. (2000). Internal Displacement in Burma. Disasters, 24(3), 228-239.
  45. ^
  46. ^ a b c Karenni Army (KA) (Myanmar), GROUPS - ASIA - ACTIVE, Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism, 13 March 2012
  47. ^ Smith, Martin (1991). Burma - Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London and New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 50–51,62–63
  48. ^ Linter, B. (1995). Recent Developments on Thai-Myanmar Border. IBRU Boundary and Security Bulletin, 72-72.
  49. ^
  50. ^ a b Nai, A. (3 September 2014). Democratic Voice of Burma: UNFC opens 2 top positions for KNU. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  51. ^ Landler, M. (14 November 2014). Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi Meet Again, With Battle Scars. Retrieved 24 November 2014, from
  52. ^ a b Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, 12 February 2007
  53. ^
  54. ^ a b Ethnic Nationalities of Burma. (n.d.). Retrieved 23 November 2014, from
  55. ^ 2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Myanmar. (1 January 2014). Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  56. ^ "About 75,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar camps: Refugee International". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 September 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  57. ^ Democratic Voice of Burma: Level of suffering in Arakan ‘never seen before’: UN. (18 June 2014). Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  58. ^ Martin Smith (1991). Burma – Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London, New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 43–44,
  59. ^ Dummett, Mark (29 September 2007). "Burmese exiles in desperate conditions". BBC News. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  60. ^ A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in South East Asia, editor=Tan, Andrew T. H., chapter=Chapter 16, State Terrorism in Arakan, author=Islam, Syed Serajul Islam. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2007. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-84542-543-2.
  61. ^ Paul, B. (25 September 2014). Democratic Voice of Burma:Security increased in Rangoon in wake of Al-Qaeda threat. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  62. ^ Phan, Zoya and Damien Lewis. Undaunted: My Struggle for Freedom and Survival in Burma. New York: Free Press, 2010.
  63. ^ DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. Threat to the Peace: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in Burma (2005).
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^ "UN General Assembly Resolution: Time for Concrete Action" (Press release). International Federation for Human Rights. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  67. ^ Kaspar, A. (7 October 2014). Trio of Burma Govt Leaders Guilty of War Crimes: Report. Irrawaddy
  68. ^ Steinberg, p. 44
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^ "Myanmar government and rebels agree on ceasefire draft."


See also

In October 2015, after two years of negotiations, the government of Myanmar announced that it will finalize and sign a ceasefire agreement with eight insurgent groups, including the Karen National Union. However, only 8 out of the 15 original signatories signed the ceasefire agreement on 15 October 2015, after seven of members of the NCCT backed out of negotiations in September 2015. The signing was witnessed by observers and delegates from the [31][32]

In April 2015, a draft Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement was finalized between representatives from fifteen different insurgent groups (all part of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team or NCCT), and the Government of Myanmar.[73]

Under the new constitutional reforms in 2011, state level and union level ceasefire agreements were made with many rebel factions. 14 out of 17 of the largest rebel factions signed a ceasefire agreement with the new reformed government. According to the Myanmar Peace Monitoring group, clashes between Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), its allies, and the government, has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and create another severe humanitarian crisis in Kachin and northern Shan State.[71] All of the 14 signatories wanted negotiations in accordance with the Pang Long Agreement of 1948, which granted self-determination, a federal system of government (meaning regionol autonomy), religious freedom, and ethnic minority rights. However, the new constitution, only had a few clauses dedicated to minority rights, and therefore, the government discussed with rebel factions using the new constitution for reference, rather than the Pang Long Agreement. There was no inclusive plan or body that represented all the factions, and as a result, in resent, the KNU backed out of the conference and complained the lack of independence for each party within the ethnic bloc.[50] However, most of the negotiations between the State Peace Deal Commission and rebel factions were formal and peaceful.[72]

Ceasefire negotiations

Thailand's support was evident during the 1999 Burmese Embassy Siege. While the United Nations, together with the United States and Myanmar governments, referred to the siege as an "act of terrorism", the Thai government responded differently, stating: "the captors are students working for democracy, not terrorists".[70]

Thailand has been a major contributor of supplies and arms since the conflict began. Thai leaders have a deep distrust for Myanmar, who have historically invaded Thailand in past centuries. Weapons and ammunition from Thailand have allowed insurgent groups to remain active in the ongoing conflict with the Tatmadaw.[1]

Thai involvement

Many rebel factions have been supported by other states in the past: the Karen people received support from the United Kingdom; along the shared border, Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) assisted Rohingya Muslims, with other states in the Middle East also supporting them; the People's Republic of China assisted the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) (later the United Wa State Army), the Naga and Kachin Independence Army; the United States supported the Kuomintang; and Thailand assisted a wide variety of rebel groups by creating buffer states or zones.[68] A renowned Australian criminal, Dave Everett also fought alongside and trained Karen rebel factions, sympathizing with them to the point of committing armed robbery in order to fund his weapon smuggling operation in Myanmar.[69]

Foreign support

United Nations: In November 2009, the UN General Assembly, condemned Myanmar's government and previous military juntas for the systematic violations of human rights, and urged the current government to take urgent measures to end violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws.[66] This was partially honored after the 2011 constitution and government reforms. According to research from Harvard University’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC), three government officials, including the incumbent Minister of Domestic Affairs of Myanmar, have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Southeast Myanmar under previous military regime.[67]

International Responses


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