Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army

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This article is about the armed group in the Kokang region. For armed group in the Mongla region, see National Democratic Alliance Army.
Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
Chairman Pheung Kya-shin[1]
Founded 1989 (1989)
Split from Communist Party of Burma
Headquarters Laukkai
Shan State, Myanmar
Political wing Kokang Democracy Party
Ideology Kokang ethnicity
Colors Red and Yellow
Party flag
Flag of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-2015.png

Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army or Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) is a rebel army in Kokang, northeastern Burma. The army has existed since 1989, having been the first one to sign a ceasefire with the Burmese government that lasted for about two decades.[2] Yang Mao-liang is the leader of the MNDAA and its political wing is the Kokang Democracy Party (KDP).[3]


The army was formed on March 12, 1989, after the local Communist Party of Burma leader, Phone Kyar Shin (Peng Jia Sheng), dissatisfied with the communists, broke away and formed the MNDAA.[4] Along with his brother, Peng Jiafu, they became the new unit in Kokang.[5] The strength of the army is between 1,500 and 2,000 men.[5]

The rebels soon became the first group to agree to a ceasefire with the government troops. Thus the Burmese government refers to the Kokang region controlled by the MNDAA as ‘Shan State Special Region 1’, indicating the MNDAA was the first group in the area of Shan State to sign a cease-fire agreement.[4] After the ceasefire, the area underwent an economic boom, with both the MNDAA and regional Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) troops benefiting financially from increased opium harvests and heroin-refining.[6] The area also produces methamphetamine.[7] The MNDAA and other paramilitary groups control the cultivation areas, making it an easy target for drug trafficking and organised crime groups.[7]

Kokang incident[edit]

Main article: 2009 Kokang incident

In August 2009, the National Democratic Alliance Army became involved in a violent conflict with Burma's military junta's armed forces. This was the largest outbreak of fighting between ethnic armies and government troops since the signing of the cease-fire 20 years earlier.[8]

As a result of the conflict the MNDAA lost control of the area and as many as 30,000 refugees fled to Yunnan province in neighboring China.[9]

Recent events[edit]

Main article: 2015 Kokang conflict

On 9 February 2015 the MNDAA tried to retake the Kokang self-administered zone, which had been under its control until 2009 and clashed with Burmese government forces in Laukkai. The skirmishes left a total of 47 Government's soldiers dead and 73 wounded. After the incident the government of China was accused of giving military assistance to the ethnic Kokang soldiers.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Neither War Nor Peace - Transnational Institute
  2. ^ Ethnic group in Myanmar said to break cease-fire. Associated Press. August 28, 2009.
  3. ^ Fredholm, Michael (1993). Burma: ethnicity and insurgency. Praeger. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-275-94370-7.
  4. ^ a b South, Ashley (2008). Ethnic politics in Burma: states of conflict. Taylor & Francis. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-203-89519-1.
  5. ^ a b Rotberg, Robert (1998). Burma: prospects for a democratic future. Brookings Institution Press. p. 169.
  6. ^ Skidmore, Monique; Wilson, Trevor (2007). Myanmar: the state, community and the environment. ANU E Press. p. 69.
  7. ^ a b Shanty, Frank; Mishra, Patit Paban (2007). Organized crime: from trafficking to terrorism. ABC-CLIO. p. 70.
  8. ^ Johnson, Tim (August 29, 2009). China Urges Burma to Bridle Ethnic Militia Uprising at Border. The Washington Post.
  9. ^ 47 Myanmar soldiers reported dead in clashes with Kokang rebels
  10. ^ Myanmar Kokang Rebels Deny Receiving Chinese Weapons

External links[edit]