Internal conflict in Myanmar
The internal conflict in Myanmar refers to a series of primarily ethnic conflicts within Myanmar that began shortly after the country, then known as Burma, became independent from the United Kingdom in 1948. The conflict has been labeled as the world's longest running civil war.
- 1 Background
- 2 Timeline
- 3 Main fronts
- 4 Political factors
- 5 Human rights violations
- 6 Refugee crisis
- 7 Ceasefire attempts
- 8 International responses
- 9 Foreign support
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Prior to independence from the United Kingdom, several anti-colonial groups in Myanmar (Burma) protested against British rule over the country. The groups became especially influential during World War II, when the Empire of Japan promised an "independent Burmese state" (restricted under the status of a puppet state under Japan) and appointed Ba Maw as its head of state. During this period, left-wing groups such as the Communist Party of Burma (also known as the Burma Communist Party) and armed ethnic groups began to emerge in opposition to both the British and Japanese. In 1947, the Panglong Agreement was reached between Aung San and ethnic leaders, in an attempt to quell hostilities; however, the agreement was not honoured by the post-independence government following Aung San's assassination, leading to further ethnic tensions.
On 4 January 1948, Myanmar gained independence from the United Kingdom. The communists and the ethnic minorities in the country were dissatisfied with the newly formed government, believing that they were being unfairly excluded from governing the country. For example, it was noted that many Christian Karen military officials, who were originally appointed by the British, were replaced with Buddhist Bamars by the new parliament. Three months after independence, the communists began an armed insurgency against the government. Similarly, Karen insurgent groups began to fight for independence.
In the early 1960s, the government refused to adopt a federal system, to the dismay of insurgent groups such as the CPB, who proposed adopting the system during peace talks. By the early 1980s, politically motivated armed insurgencies had largely disappeared, while ethnic-based insurgencies continued.  Several insurgent groups have negotiated ceasefires and peace agreements with successive governments, which until political reforms that begun in 2011 and ended in 2015, had largely fallen apart.
The conflict is generally divided into three parts: Insurgencies during the post-independence period under parliamentary rule (1948–1962), insurgencies during the post-1962 coup socialist government under the rule of General Ne Win and his Burma Socialist Programme Party (1962–1988), and insurgencies during the modern post Cold War era; first under the military administration of the State Peace and Development Council (1988–2011) and now under the newly elected civilian government.
Post-independence conflict (1948–1962)
Following independence from the United Kingdom, the two largest opposition groups in Burma (Myanmar) were the communists, led by the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) and the Karen nationalists, led by the Karen National Union's predecessor. The former had fought the British colonial government prior to independence; however, during the final days of the Japanese occupation of Burma in World War II, both groups helped the British against the Imperial Japanese Army. Initially, there was calm during the transitional period after independence, but on 2 April 1948, the CPB fired the first shots of the conflict in Paukkongyi, Pegu Region (present-day Bago Region).
During the post-independence period, the KNU favoured an independent state, administered by the Karen people. The proposed state would have been forged out of Karen and Karenni State (present-day Kayin and Kayah State), in Lower Burma (Outer Myanmar). The KNU has since shifted their focus from full independence to regional autonomy, under a federal system with fair Karen representation in the government.
Post-coup conflict (1962–1988)
After three successive parliamentary governments governed Myanmar (Burma), the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces), led by General Ne Win, enacted a coup d'état in 1962, which ousted the parliamentary government and replaced it with a military junta. Accusations of severe human rights abuses and violations followed afterwards, and the cabinet of the parliamentary government and political leaders of ethnic minority groups were arrested and detained without trial. Around this period, other ethnic minority groups began forming larger rebel factions, such as the Kachin Independence Army, in response to the new government's refusal to adopt a federal government structure.
In 1967, following China's initiation of the Cultural Revolution, violence broke out between local Bamars and overseas Chinese in Myanmar, leading to anti-Chinese riots in Rangoon (present-day Yangon) and other cities. The riots left many overseas Chinese dead, which allegedly prompted China to begin giving logistical aid to the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in 1968.
Both immediately after the coup and again in 1972, General Ne Win held peace talks with opposition forces, but both times they fell apart, partly due to General Ne Win's refusal to adopt a multi-party system. After negotiations failed, defectors from the Tatmadaw and ethnic insurgents walked back to their bases, with headlines across Myanmar famously reading "They Go Back" (သူတို့ပြန်ကြလေပြီ). Private property was confiscated by the government, and the Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) was founded in 1974 to govern the country under a one-party system. Under General Ne Win's 26 year dictatorship, Myanmar became an isolated hermit kingdom and one of the least developed countries in the world. In 1988, nationwide student protests resulted in the BSPP and General Ne Win being ousted and replaced with a new military regime, the State Peace and Development Council.
On 8 August 1988, students began demonstrating in Rangoon (Yangon) against General Ne Win's rule and the disastrous Burmese Way to Socialism system. The protests spread across the country, The uprising ended on 18 September 1988, after a military coup was enacted by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and the BSPP government was overthrown.
Authorities in Myanmar (Burma) claimed that around 350 people were killed, whilst anti-government groups claimed thousands died in the protests, with a high number of deaths attributed to the military. According to the Economist, over 3,000 people were killed in the public uprising. 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 insurgent groups did not receive much support from political movements in Myanmar. In the 1990s, the Tatmadaw severely weakened ethnic insurgent groups, destroying most of their bases and strongholds.
Post-Cold War conflict (1988–present)
In 2006, the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) conducted a large military offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU) in Kayin State, which resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. One estimate claimed that approximately half a million people were displaced due to fighting between government forces and the KNU, and the forcible relocation of villages by the government.
In 2011, Tatmadaw launched a military offensive named Operation Perseverance (ဇွဲမန်ဟိန်း) against insurgents in Shan State in 2011. During the offensive, the Tatmadaw captured territory from the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and the Shan State Army - North (SSA-N), with the latter being involved in most of the fighting. The offensive was in response to the groups' rejections of the junta's "One Nation, One Army" policy.
Between February and May 2015, government forces launched several military operations in Kokang, in northern Shan State; in response to attempts by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) to retake territory it had lost in 2009.
Insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked Burmese border posts along the Bangladesh–Myanmar border on 9 October 2016, killing nine border officers. Armed clashes continued and on 11 October 2016, four Tatmadaw soldiers were killed by insurgents with recently looted weapons. On 25 August 2017, the ARSA launched a second large-scale attack against 24 police posts and the 552nd Light Infantry Battalion army base in northern Rakhine State. 71 people were reportedly killed in the armed clashes.
The Kachin people are a major ethnic minority in Myanmar who mainly inhabit the mountainous northern regions of the Kachin Hills in Kachin State. They have fought for the self-determination of their people since Myanmar gained independence, though less so than other ethnic minorities in Myanmar, such as the Karen people. Kachin regular soldiers previously formed a significant part of the Myanmar military; however, after General Ne Win's regime seized power in 1962, many Kachin soldiers defected from the military and reorganized with already active Kachin insurgents to form the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), under the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). Religious tensions have also been a source of conflict, as Kachin people have historically been predominantly Christian, while the majority Bamar people have been predominantly Buddhist.
Ceasefire agreements have been signed between the KIA and the government several 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.
In 2012 alone, fighting between the KIA and the government resulted in around 2,500 casualties (both civilian and military); 211 of whom were government soldiers. The violence resulted in the displacement of nearly 100,000 civilians and the complete or partial abandonment of 364 villages.
The largest insurgent group in Kayah State (formerly Karenni State) is the Karenni Army, whose goal for the past few decades has been to obtain independence and self-determination for the Karenni people.
The group has claimed that their grievances towards the government include: the (government's) exploitation and rapid depletion of the natural resources in the region, the forced sale of farmer's agricultural products for low prices, extortion and corruption within local authorities, forced labour, forced relocation of whole villages and farms, destruction of houses, planting of mines in civilian areas, torture, rape, extrajudicial killings, burning of villages, expropriation of food supplies and livestock, arrests without charge and exploitation of the poor. The Karenni Army is currently led by General Bee Htoo, and consists of roughly between 500 and 1,500 soldiers.
The Karen people of Kayin State (formerly Karen State) in eastern Myanmar are the third largest ethnic group in Myanmar, consisting of roughly 7% of the country's total population. Karen insurgent groups have fought for independence and self-determination since 1949. In 1949, the commander-in-chief of the Tatmadaw General Smith Dun, an ethnic Karen, was fired because of the rise of Karen opposition groups, which furthered ethnic tensions. He was replaced by Ne Win, a Bamar nationalist who would go on to become the dictator of Myanmar.
The government of Myanmar has been accused of using "scorched earth" tactics against Karen civilians in the past, including (but not limited to) burning down entire villages, planting land mines, using civilians as slave labour, using civilians as minesweepers and the rape and murder of Karen women. According to a report by legal firm DLA Piper, whose report was presented to the United Nations Security Council, these tactics against the Karen can be identified as ethnic cleansing. The government had however, denied these claims.
The initial aim of the largest Karen opposition group, the Karen National Union (KNU), and its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), was to obtain independence for the Karen people. However, since 1976 they have instead called for a federal union with fair Karen representation and the self-determination of the Karen people. Nearly all of their demands and requests have been ignored or denied by successive governments, a contributing factor to failed peace talks until political reforms which begun in 2011 and ended in 2015.
In 1995, the main headquarters and operating bases of the KNU had mostly been destroyed or captured by the government, forcing the KNLA (the armed wing of the KNU) to instead operate in the jungles of Kayin State. Up until that year, the Thai government had been supporting insurgents across its border, but soon stopped its support due to a new major economic deal with Myanmar.
The KNU signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government of Myanmar on 15 October 2015, along with seven other insurgent groups. However in March 2018, the government of Myanmar violated the agreement by sending 400 Tatmadaw soldiers into KNU-held territory to build a road connecting two military bases. Armed clashes erupted between the KNU and the Myanmar Army in the Ler Mu Plaw area of Hpapun District, resulting in the displacement of 2,000 people. On 17 May 2018, the Tatmadaw agreed to "temporarily postpone" their road project and to withdraw troops from the area.
Rakhine insurgent groups, such as the Arakan Army and Arakan Liberation Army (ALA), continue to have hostilities towards the government, though major violence has been rare since political reforms and peace talks. The Arakan Army, founded in 2009, is currently the largest insurgent group in Rakhine State, with 1,500–2,500 fighters active in the region.
Insurgents of the Rohingya ethnic minority have been fighting local government forces and other insurgent groups in northern Rakhine State since 1948, with ongoing religious violence between the predominantly Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhist Rakhines fueling the conflict. The legal and political rights of the Rohingya people have been an underlying issue in the conflict, with spontaneous bouts of violence such as the 2012 Rakhine State riots and 2013 Myanmar anti-Muslim riots periodically occurring as a result. Despite making up a majority of the population in the three northern townships of Rakhine State, Rohingyas are often targets of religiously motivated attacks. Because the government does not recognise the Rohingya people as an official ethnic group in Myanmar, Rohingyas cannot apply for citizenship and few laws exist to protect their rights.
On 9 October 2016, unidentified insurgents attacked three Burmese border posts along Myanmar's border with Bangladesh, starting a new armed conflict in northern Rakhine State. According to government officials in the border town of Maungdaw, the attackers looted several dozen firearms and ammunition from the border posts, and brandished knives and homemade slingshots that fired metal bolts. The attacks left nine border officers and "several insurgents" dead. On 11 October 2016, four Tatmadaw soldiers were killed on the third day of fighting. A newly emerged insurgent group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), claimed responsibility a week later.
During the early hours of 25 August 2017, ARSA insurgents launched coordinated attacks on 24 police posts and the 552nd Light Infantry Battalion army base, killing a dozen people. In response, the Tatmadaw launched "clearance operations" in northern Rakhine State, which critics argued targeted Rohingya civilians rather than insurgents.
The Shan people are the largest ethnic group in Shan State and the second largest in Myanmar. In 1947, the Panglong Agreement was negotiated between Aung San, a prominent founding father of Myanmar, and Shan leaders, which would have given the Shan the option to split from Myanmar a decade after independence if they were unsatisfied with the central government. This was, however, not honoured by the post-independence government following Aung San's assassination. During the Tatmadaw's (Myanmar Armed Forces') heavy militarisation of the state in the late 1940s and early 1950s, locals accused them of mistreating, torturing, robbing, raping, unlawfully arresting and massacring villagers. As a result, on 21 May 1958, an armed resistance movement, led by Sao Noi and Saw Yanna, was started in Shan State.
One the largest Shan insurgent groups in Myanmar is the Shan State Army - South (SSA-S), which has around 6,000 to 8,000 soldiers, and was led by Yawd Serk until his resignation on 2 February 2014. The SSA-S maintains bases along the Myanmar-Thailand border, and signed a ceasefire agreement with the government on 2 December 2011.
The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) is a Kokang insurgent group active in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone in northern Shan State. The group signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 1989, the same year it was founded, which lasted for two decades until 2009, when violence erupted between the group and government forces. Violence again erupted between the MNDAA and government forces in 2015 and 2017.
In late November 2016, the Northern Alliance—which consists of four insurgent groups, the Arakan Army (AA), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)—attacked towns and border posts along the China–Myanmar border in Muse Township, northern Shan State. The insurgents captured the town of Mong Ko on 25 November 2016 and maintained control of it until they withdrew from the town on 4 December 2016 to avoid civilian casualties from airstrikes by the Myanmar Air Force.
Prior to independence, Aung San, considered a founding father of Myanmar, had convinced local Shan leaders to join him in his pursuit for independence, and with them, negotiated the Panglong Agreement in 1947. The agreement guaranteed the right to self-determination, political representation in the post-independence government and economic equality amongst the various ethnic groups. It also gave the Chin, Kachin and Shan people the option to separate from Myanmar after a decade if their states' leaders were unhappy with the central government. However, this was not honoured by the government, and has been one of the causes of insurgencies in those states.
Whilst some groups continue to fight for full independence and for the right for self-determination of their people, groups such as the Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) have since fought instead for regional autonomy and a federal system of government in Myanmar.
During the 8888 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 a general 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 recognise the results and instead placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years.
In 2007, hundreds of thousands of monks protested against the military junta's rule, and called for free elections, minority rights and the release of political prisoners in an event now known as the Saffron Revolution. The protest originally began in response to the government's removal of price subsidies for compressed natural gas.
In 2011, the government introduced a new constitution following political reforms, and thousands of political prisoners were released, including Aung San Suu Kyi. 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 become President of Myanmar if her party won an election. These amendments however, were rejected.
Human rights violations
The government of Myanmar has been accused of using "scorched earth" tactics against civilians, most notably in Kayin State. The accusations included burning down entire villages, planting landmines, using civilians as slave labour, using civilians as minesweepers and the rape and murder of Karen women. 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.
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. The KNU claim that landmines are vital to repelling government forces, because it "discourages them from attacking civilians". However, a majority of those who fall victim to KNU planted landmines are local villagers, rather than government soldiers. Victims of landmines must travel to the Myanmar–Thailand border to seek treatment, as local hospitals and facilities lack proper equipment and funding.
Both sides have also been accused of using thousands of child soldiers, despite the fact that the government of Myanmar and seven insurgent groups signed an agreement with UNICEF in 2012, promising not to exploit children for military and political gains. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has accused both sides of continuing to use child soldiers despite the agreement. According to the ILO, the Tatmadaw have discharged hundreds of child soldiers since 2012; however, they estimated that at least 340 child soldiers had been recruited by the Tatmadaw between 2013 and 2014. The most notable case of the use child soldiers in Myanmar was of Johnny and Luther Htoo, the leaders of God's Army, a former rebel faction. At the time of their formation of God's Army, they were both only 10 years old.
The conflict has resulted in a large number of both civilian deaths and refugees, with many refugees fleeing to Thailand. The UN estimates that between 1996 and 2006, around 1 million people were internally displaced inside Myanmar, over 230,000 of whom remain displaced in southeast Myanmar, and 128,000 refugees live in temporary shelters on the Myanmar–Thailand border. In August 2007, approximately 160,000 refugees fled to nine refugee camps along the Myanmar–Thailand border and the Thai border provinces of Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi. Approximately 62% of the refugee population consisted of people from the Karen ethnic minority. Humanitarian organisations such as Doctors Without Borders have since sent assistance and support to the refugees.
Civilians have allegedly been removed from their homes and have had their land confiscated by the government to be used in industrial projects. Civilians have also been removed from their homes by the central government, and their land confiscated, in order for development projects and resource exploitation.
In Rakhine State, there are currently about 75,000 Rohingya refugees, according to Refugee International. UNICEF has reported that living conditions in Rohingya refugee camps in Rakhine State are "wholly inadequate" and lacks access to basic services. 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. In October 2017, there were an estimated 947,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. 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." Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has also threatened Myanmar with terrorist attacks, after their "terror network" expanded into India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Under the new constitutional reforms in 2011, state level and union level ceasefire agreements were made with several insurgent groups. 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 the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), its allies, and the government, have displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and created another severe humanitarian crisis in Kachin and northern Shan State. All of the 14 signatories wanted negotiations in accordance with the Panglong Agreement of 1947, 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 Panglong 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. However, most of the negotiations between the State Peace Deal Commission and rebel factions were formal and peaceful.
On 31 March 2015, a draft of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was finalised between representatives from 15 different insurgent groups (all part of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team or NCCT) and the government of Myanmar. However, only eight of the 15 insurgent groups signed the final agreement on 15 October 2015. The signing was witnessed by observers and delegates from the United Nations, the United Kingdom, Norway, Japan and the United States.
The Union Peace Conference - 21st Century Panglong was held from 31 August to 4 September 2016 with several different organisations as representatives, in an attempt to mediate between the government and different insurgent groups. The name was a reference to the original Panglong Conference held during British rule in 1947, which was negotiated between Aung San and ethnic leaders.
United Nations – Since 1991, the UN General Assembly has adopted twenty-five different resolutions regarding Myanmar's government, condemning previous military juntas for their systematic violations of human rights and lack of political freedom. In 2009 they urged the then ruling junta to take urgent measures to end violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws in the country. The request was mostly honoured during political reforms that begun in 2011 and ended in 2015.
China – The People's Republic of China allegedly gave logistical aid to the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) during the communist insurgency in Myanmar, in support of the party's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology. After the CPB's armed wing agreed to disarm in 1988, China was accused by Myanmar of continuing to support insurgent groups operating along its border, such as the United Wa State Army.
In 2016, China pledged to support Myanmar's ongoing peace process by encouraging China-friendly insurgent groups to attend peace talks with the Burmese government and by sending more soldiers to secure its border with Myanmar. China also offered $3 million USD to fund the negotiations. However, the Burmese government has expressed suspicion over China's involvement in the peace process, due to China's alleged links to the Northern Alliance and the United Wa State Army.
Pakistan – From 1948 to 1950, Pakistan sent aid to mujahideen in northern Arakan (present-day Rakhine State). In 1950, the Pakistani government warned their Burmese counterparts about their treatment of Muslims. In response, Burmese Prime Minister U Nu immediately sent a Muslim diplomat, Pe Khin, to negotiate a memorandum of understanding. Pakistan agreed to cease aid to the mujahideen and arrest members of the group. In 1954, mujahid leader Mir Kassem was arrested by Pakistani authorities, and many of his followers later surrendered to the Burmese government.
Thailand – Thailand had been a vocal supporter of various insurgent groups in Myanmar, condemning actions done by the then ruling military juntas and allowing weapons and ammunition to be smuggled through its border through lax enforcement. However in 1995, the Thai government secured its border with Myanmar and stopped all logistical support going through Thailand after they signed a major economic deal with Myanmar.
United States – Starting in 1951, the CIA began aiding Kuomintang soldiers that fled to Myanmar from China following the advance of Chinese communist forces into Yunnan province. This included Operation Paper, which involved supplying them with non-lethal aid via Thailand until 1953, when they airlifted 7,000 soldiers to Taiwan and ended the operation.
Others: Dave Everett was a member of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment before leaving in 1986 and joining the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) as a mercenary. Everett fought alongside the KNLA under the alias "Steve" and trained insurgents, helping them improve their marksmanship and teaching them how to use claymore anti-personnel mines. In order to fund his time with the KNLA, Everett perpetrated several robberies in Australia with the help of accomplices and took piloting lessons so he could smuggle weapons into Myanmar. Everett returned to Australia a year later in 1987.[Videos 1]
- "China's Xi Jinping Pledges Support for Myanmar's Peace Process". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "China offers Myanmar support to end ethnic unrest near border". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- Chang, Jennifer; Spencer, Kay; Staats, Jennifer (2 September 2016). "China's Role in Myanmar's Peace Process". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Burma and Russia to Increase Military Cooperation". The Irrawaddy. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- Kovalev, Alexey (15 September 2017). "Putin's Surprise Myanmar Challenge from Chechnya". EurasiaNet. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- "Russia, Myanmar Sign Military Cooperation Agreement". www.defenseworld.net. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- Vojni leksikon [Military Lexicon] (Beograd: Vojnoizdavacki zavod, 1981), p. 71.
- Bertil Lintner, Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency since 1948, p. 154.
- NARA, RG 59, 690B.9321/12-2253, Memorandum of Conversation between General Ne Win and the Army and Air Attachés of the U.S. Embassy in Burma, December 22nd 1953.
- Čavoški, Jovan. Arming Nonalignment: Yugoslavia's Relations with Burma and the Cold War in Asia (1950-1955). Washington, D.C.: Cold War International History Project, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2010. Print.
- Richard Michael Gibson (2011). The Secret Army: Chiang Kai-shek and the Drug Warlords of the Golden Triangle. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 85–90. ISBN 978-0-470-83018-5.
- Lintner, Bertil. "Recent Developments on Thai-Myanmar Border. IBRU Boundary and Security Bulletin": 72.
- Alfred W. McCoy, with Cathleen B. Read and Leonard P. Adams II. "The Shan Rebellion: The Road to Chaos", from The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (2003 ed.). Lawrence Hill Books. ISBN 1-55652-483-8. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Lintner, Bertil; Wyatt (maps prepared by), David K. (1990). The rise and fall of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University. p. 14. ISBN 0877271232. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Kumbun, Joe (2 January 2018). "Analysis: KIO Kicks Off New Year with New Leadership". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- CNN, Katie Hunt. "Myanmar Air Force helicopters fire on armed villagers in Rakhine state". CNN. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- "Border Guard Force Scheme | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Armed ethnic groups | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Swain, Rob (29 December 2012). "We Don't Always Get the War We Want". VICE. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- Bleming, Thomas James (2007). War in Karen Country: Armed Struggle for a Free and Independent Karen State in Southeast Asia. New York; Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse. ISBN 0-595-69327-X. OCLC 609978846.
- Heppner & Becker, 2002: 18–19
- "All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) | Myanmar Peace Monitor". mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- I. Rotberg, Robert (1998). Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0815791690.
- "'I Want to Stress That We Are Not the Enemy'". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- "Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) | Myanmar Peace Monitor". mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Burma center for Ethnic Studies, Jan. 2012, "Briefing Paper No. 1" http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-BP-01-ceasefires(en).pdf
- "New Mon State Party (NMSP) | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- "47 Govt Troops Killed, Tens of Thousands Flee Heavy Fighting in Shan State". irrawaddy.org.
- "NDAA | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "PSLF/TNLA | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Larsen, Niels (23 April 2015). "On Patrol With Myanmar Rebels Fighting Both the Army and Drug Addiction - VICE News". VICE News (Crime and Drugs).
- Johnson, Tim (29 August 2009). China Urges Burma to Bridle Ethnic Militia Uprising at Border. The Washington Post.
- Davis, Anthony. "Wa army fielding new Chinese artillery, ATGMs". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Pavković, 2011: 476
- Lintner, Bertil (1999). Burma in revolt: opium and insurgency since 1948 (2nd ed.). Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books. ISBN 978-974-7100-78-5.
- "Armed forces - Myanmar". www.nationsencyclopedia.com. Encyclopedia of the Nations.
- U Thant Myint (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps - Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 274–289. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6.
- "Modern Conflicts - Death Tolls PDF" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2011.
- "De re militari: muertos en Guerras, Dictaduras y Genocidios". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Janie Hampton (2012). Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-54705-8.
- Vrieze, Paul. "Into Myanmar's Stalled Peace Process Steps China". VOA. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- International Institute for Strategic Studies; Hackett, James (ed.) (2010). The Military Balance 2010. London: Routledge, pp. 420-421. ISBN 1-85743-557-5.
- Patrick Winn (13 May 2012). "Myanmar: ending the world's longest-running civil war". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Hensengerth, Oliver (2005). The Burmese Communist Party and the State-to-State Relations between China and Burma (PDF). Leeds East Asia Papers. pp. 10–12, 15–16, 17.
- Allen, Louis (1986). Burma: the Longest War 1941-45. Great Britain: J.M. Dent and Sons. ISBN 0-460-02474-4.
- Maung, Zarni (19 July 2013). "Remembering the martyrs and their hopes for Burma". DVB NEWS. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Callahan, M., Making Enemies. War and State Building in Burma. United States of America: Cornell University Press, 2003, p. 118 - 123
- Callahan, M., Making Enemies. War and State Building in Burma. United States of America: Cornell University Press, 2003, p. 34 - 36
- Licklider, R. (1995). The Consequences of Negotiated Settlements in Civil Wars, 1945–1993. The American Political Science Review, 89(3), 681.
- "About | Official Karen National Union Webpage".
- Fan, Hong Wei (1 June 2012). "The 1967 Anti-Chinese Riots in Burma and Sino-Burmese Relations". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.
- Maureen Aung-Thwin (1989). "Burmese Days". Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "The Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP)". Retrieved 2018-05-16.
- Ottawa Citizen. 24 September 1988. pg. A.16
- Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. 26 September 1988
- Ferrara (2003), pp. 313
- Philippa Fogarty (6 August 2008). "Was Burma's 1988 uprising worth it?". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Wintle (2007)
- "The saffron revolution | The Economist". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- COLIN., FLINT, PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY (2016). RECONSTRUCTING CONFLICT : integrating war and post war geographies. [S.l.]: ROUTLEDGE. p. 99. ISBN 113827707X. OCLC 982562747.
- "Asia Unbound » Myanmar's Cease-Fire Deal Comes up Short". Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- Ray Pagnucco and Jennifer Peters (15 October 2015). "Myanmar's National Ceasefire Agreement isn't all that national". Vice News. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- Htwe, Ko (8 April 2011). "Conflict in Shan State Spreading". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- "Burma Army occupies SSA core base". Shanland.org. 16 March 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "SSA 'North' given ultimatum to surrender". Shanland.org. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)". Shanland.org. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- Hseng, Khio Fah (10 January 2011). "Mongla base shelled by Burma Army artillery". Shan Herald Agency. Archived from the original on 17 January 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Hseng, Khio Fah (26 January 2011). "Mongla base shelled by Burma Army artillery". Shan Herald Agency. Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- "All roads to Shan rebel base closed". Shanland.org. 24 February 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Myanmar's Kachin Rebels Say 22 Dead in Fighting". 19 November 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Myanmar Kokang Rebels Deny Receiving Chinese Weapons". Radio Free Asia.
- NANG MYA NADI (10 February 2015). "Kokang enlist allies' help in fight against Burma army". dvb.no.
- "Myanmar policemen killed in Rakhine border attack". BBC News. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- "Rakhine unrest leaves four Myanmar soldiers dead". BBC News. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Myanmar tensions: Dozens dead in Rakhine militant attack". BBC News. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- Htusan, Esther (25 August 2017). "Myanmar: 71 die in militant attacks on police, border posts". AP News. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- Lone, Wa; Slodkowski, Antoni (24 August 2017). "At least 12 dead in Muslim insurgent attacks in northwest Myanmar". Reuters. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- Fuller, T. (4 April 2013). "Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy". The New York Times.
- "Untold Miseries" (PDF). Hrw.org. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- KIA claims 211 Tatmadaw soldiers have died in two months of fighting in Hpakant, 10 October 2012, http://www.kachinnews.com/news/2418-kia-says-211-army-soldiers-die-in-two-month-fighting-in-hpakant.html
- 31 dead in new clashes with Kachin: Myanmar News, 5 May 2012, http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\story_5-5-2012_pg14_7 Archived 12 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Lanjouw, S., Mortimer, G., & Bamforth, V. (2000). Internal Displacement in Burma. Disasters, 24(3), 228-239.
- "Kachin Women's Association Thailand - State terror in the Kachin hills". Kachinwomen.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Karenni Army (KA) (Myanmar), GROUPS - ASIA - ACTIVE, Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism, 13 March 2012
- Smith, Martin (1991). Burma: Insurgency and the politics of ethnicity (2. impr. ed.). London: Zed Books. ISBN 0862328683.
- Phan, Zoya and Damien Lewis. Undaunted: My Struggle for Freedom and Survival in Burma. New York: Free Press, 2010.
- Gray Cary, Rudnick (2005). "Threat to the Peace: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in Burma" (PDF). DLA Piper. Retrieved 10 April 2016.[dead link]
- "Myanmar Signs Historic Cease-Fire Deal With Eight Ethnic Armies". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- Sandford, Steve (31 May 2018). "Conflict Resumes in Karen State After Myanmar Army Returns". Voice of America. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Sandford, Steve (31 May 2018). "Karen Return to War in Myanmar". Voice of America. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Nyein, Nyein (17 May 2018). "Tatmadaw Agrees to Halt Contentious Road Project in Karen State". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "Chin National Front (CNF) | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "Myanmar, Bangladesh leaders 'to discuss Rohingya'". Agence France-Presse. 29 June 2012.
- "Arakan Army Official Website". Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- MclaughLin, Tim (8 July 2013). "Origin of 'most persecuted minority' statement unclear". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Islamist fears rise in Rohingya-linked violence". Bangkok Post. Post Publishing PCL. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- "Myanmar accused of laying mines after refugee injuries," September 12, 2017, Chicago Tribune retrieved September 12, 2017. Quote "Accounts from refugees show the military is also targeting civilians with shootings and wholesale burning of Rohingya villages in an apparent attempt to purge Rakhine state of Muslims."
- "Hundreds dead in Myanmar as the Rohingya crisis explodes again." September 10, 2017, The Washington Post in Chicago Tribune retrieved September 12, 2017
- "Myanmar troops open fire on civilians fleeing attacks".
- "Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS/SSA-S) | Myanmar Peace Monitor". www.mmpeacemonitor.org. Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Johnston, Tim (29 August 2009). "China Urges Burma to Bridle Ethnic Militia Uprising at Border". The Washington Post.
- Myanmar Kokang Rebels Deny Receiving Chinese Weapons
- "Deadly clashes hit Kokang in Myanmar's Shan state". wcww.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- "Myanmar rebel clashes in Kokang leave 30 dead". BBC News. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- Nadi, Nang Mya (22 November 2016). "8 killed as ethnic rebels hit Muse- DVB Multimedia Group". DVB Multimedia Group. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Aung, Thu Thu (21 November 2016). "Ethnic armed groups launch attack near Muse". The Myanmar Times. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Weng, Lawi (28 November 2016). "Ethnic Armed Groups Claim Control of Border Town". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Aung, Thu Thu (24 November 2016). "Air strikes reported as Shan State conflict spreads". The Myanmar Times. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Noreen, Naw (5 December 2016). "Burmese army recaptures Mongko- DVB Multimedia Group". DVB Multimedia Group. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "Karen National Union Website - English".
- "Human Rights Concern". Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- "BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Burma leaders double fuel prices". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
- Landler, M. (14 November 2014). Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi Meet Again, With Battle Scars. Retrieved 24 November 2014, from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/world/asia/obama-aung-san-suu-kyi-myanmar.html?_r=0
- The world's longest ongoing war. 13 August 2011 – via YouTube.
- Arthur Nazaryan, The Diplomat. "The Landmine Victims of Myanmar's Civil War | The Diplomat". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Burmese army releases 91 child soldiers: UNICEF". Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Richard S. Ehrlick (27 July 2006). "Bizarre 'God's Army' Led By Young Boys Surrenders". Global Politician. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013.
- "2013 UNHCR country operations profile – Thailand". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, 12 February 2007
- "Fort Wayne refugees from Myanmar worried about policy changes". 2 February 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Cohen, Joanna; Fuller, Holly; Scott, Kelly. "Governance in refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Ethnic Nationalities of Burma. (n.d.). Retrieved 23 November 2014, from http://www.oxfordburmaalliance.org/ethnic-groups.html
- 2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Myanmar. (1 January 2014). Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- "About 75,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar camps: Refugee International". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 September 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Democratic Voice of Burma: Level of suffering in Arakan 'never seen before': UN. (18 June 2014). Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Smith, Martin (1991). Burma: Insurgency and the politics of ethnicity (2. impr. ed.). London and New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 43–44. ISBN 0862328683.
- "Is refugee crisis 'textbook ethnic cleansing'?". BBC News. 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- 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.
- Paul, B. (25 September 2014). Democratic Voice of Burma:Security increased in Rangoon in wake of Al-Qaeda threat. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Conflicts, communal violence and IDPs | Myanmar Peace Monitor". Myanmar Peace Monitor. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- Nai, A. (3 September 2014). Democratic Voice of Burma: UNFC opens 2 top positions for KNU. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "World Asia". BBC News. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Myanmar government and rebels agree on ceasefire draft".
- "Myanmar's Panglong Peace Conference to Include All Armed Ethnic Groups".
- "UN General Assembly Resolutions on Burma - ALTSEAN Burma". www.altsean.org. Alternative Asean Network on Burma. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "UN General Assembly Resolution: Time for Concrete Action" (Press release). International Federation for Human Rights. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Smith, Martin (1991). Burma: Insurgency and the politics of ethnicity (2. impr. ed.). London and New Jersey: Zed Books. ISBN 0862328683.[page needed]
- "UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia, Myanmar (Burma)". Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- U Nu, U Nu: Saturday's Son, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) 1975, p. 272.
- International Center for Transitional Justice "Opening up Remedies in Myanmar 12/9/2015"
- International Center for Transitional Justice "Navigating Paths to Justice in Myanmar's Transition 7/18/2014"
- Kipgen, Nehginpao. "Democracy Movement in Myanmar: Problems and Challenges." New Delhi: Ruby Press & Co., 2014. Print.
- Democratic Voice of Burma – Norwegian-based radio station that provides news to the people of Burma
- Mizzima News – Multimedia news organisation based in India, run by exiled journalists. See also: Mizzima News
- MyanmaThadin – Myanmar (Burma) News & Community Hub
- BBC News: The fighting spirit of Burma's Karen (2007)
- Help without frontiers – German relief organisation working with Shan and Karen refugees living in refugee camps on and around the Myanmar–Thailand border
- International Center for Transitional Justice (Myanmar) – Non-profit organisation specialising in transitional justice
- Myanmar Peace Monitor – Non-governmental organisation based in Thailand that monitors Myanmar's ongoing peace process
- Pyidaungsu Institute – Political institute based in Chaing Mai, Thailand focused on achieving political stability and peace in Myanmar