Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army

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Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
မြန်မာအမျိုးသား ဒီမိုကရက်တစ် မဟာမိတ်တပ်မတော်
LeaderPeng Daxun[1]
Dates of operation12 March 1989 (1989-03-12) – present
Active regionsKokang Self-Administered Zone, Myanmar
IdeologyKokang nationalism
Part of Myanmar National Truth and Justice Party
AlliesNorthern Alliance[3]
Opponents Myanmar Union of Myanmar (until 2011)
Battles and warsInternal conflict in Myanmar
Succeeded by
Mongko Region Defence Army (split in 1995)
Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
Simplified Chinese缅甸民族民主同盟军
Traditional Chinese緬甸民族民主同盟軍

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)[n 1] is an armed resisance group in the Kokang region, Myanmar (Burma). The army has existed since 1989, having been the first one to sign a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government. The ceasefire lasted for about two decades.[4][5]


The group was formed on 12 March 1989, after the local Communist Party of Burma leader, Pheung Kya-shin (also spelt Peng Jia Sheng or Phone Kyar Shin), dissatisfied with the communist government, broke away and formed the MNDAA.[6] Along with his brother, Peng Jiafu, they became the new unit in Kokang.[7] The strength of the army is between 1,500 and 2,000 men.[7]

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 ceasefire agreement.[6] After the ceasefire, the area underwent an economic boom, with both the MNDAA and regional Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) troops profiting from increased opium harvests and heroin-refining.[8] The area also produces methamphetamine.[9] The MNDAA and other paramilitary groups control the cultivation areas, making them an easy target for drug trafficking and organised crime groups.[9] The Peace Myanmar Group allegedly launders and reinvests MNDAA's drug profits into the legal economy.[10]

2009 Kokang conflict[edit]

In August 2009, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army became involved in a violent conflict with the Myanmar Armed Forces. This was the largest outbreak of fighting between ethnic armies and government troops since the signing of the ceasefire 20 years earlier.[11]

As a result of the conflict, the MNDAA lost control of the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, and as many as 30,000 refugees fled to Yunnan province in neighbouring China.[12]

2015 offensive[edit]

On 9 February 2015 the MNDAA tried to retake the area, clashing with Burmese government forces in Laukkai. The skirmishes left a total of 47 Government soldiers dead and 73 wounded. After several months of intense conflict, Kokang insurgents had failed to capture Laukkai. Following the incident, the government of China was accused of giving military assistance to the ethnic Kokang soldiers.[13]

2017 clashes[edit]

On 6 March 2017, MNDAA insurgents attacked police and military posts in Laukkai, resulting in the deaths of 30 people.[14][15]

2021 post-coup resistance[edit]

Clashes with the Tatmadaw resumed after the military coup, with MNDAA alongside its allies, AA and Ta'ang National Liberation Army, attacking a police station south of Lashio, killing at least 14 police officers and burning the station to the ground.[16] MNDAA and TNLA further launched attacks in multiple locations in Northern Shan State on 4 and 5 May 2021, inflicting heavy casualties on the Myanmar military.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Also known as the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army and Kokang Army.


  1. ^ Myanmar Peace Monitor - MNDAA
  2. ^ (Myanmar Peace Monitor).orgname={cite web|url= Govt Troops Killed, Tens of Thousands Flee Heavy Fighting in Shan State|}}
  3. ^ Lynn, Kyaw Ye. "Curfew imposed after clashes near Myanmar-China border". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  4. ^ Ethnic group in Myanmar said to break cease-fire. Associated Press. 28 August 2009.
  5. ^ Fredholm, Michael (1993). Burma: ethnicity and insurgency. Praeger. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-275-94370-7.
  6. ^ a b South, Ashley (2008). Ethnic politics in Burma: states of conflict. Taylor & Francis. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-203-89519-1.
  7. ^ a b Rotberg, Robert (1998). Burma: prospects for a democratic future. Brookings Institution Press. p. 169.
  8. ^ Skidmore, Monique; Wilson, Trevor (2007). Myanmar: the state, community and the environment. ANU E Press. p. 69.
  9. ^ a b Shanty, Frank; Mishra, Patit Paban (2007). Organized crime: from trafficking to terrorism. ABC-CLIO. p. 70.
  10. ^ A Failing Grade: Burma's Drug Eradication Efforts (PDF). Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma. 2004. ISBN 978-9749243343. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  11. ^ Johnston, Tim (29 August 2009). "China Urges Burma to Bridle Ethnic Militia Uprising at Border". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ Mullen, Jethro; Mobasherat, Mitra. "Myanmar says Kokang rebels killed 47 of its soldiers". CNN.
  13. ^ Myanmar Kokang Rebels Deny Receiving Chinese Weapons
  14. ^ "Deadly clashes hit Kokang in Myanmar's Shan state". Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Myanmar rebel clashes in Kokang leave 30 dead". BBC News. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  16. ^ Eckert, Paul (10 April 2021). "Ethnic Army Alliance Kills 14 Myanmar Police in Dawn Raid as Death Toll Mounts in Bago". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  17. ^ "TNLA, MNDAA Claim to Have Killed Dozens of Myanmar Junta Troops in Shan State". The Irrawaddy. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.

External links[edit]