Internal conflict in Myanmar

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Internal conflict in Myanmar
Date 4 January 1948–present
(68 years, 7 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
Location Myanmar (Burma)
Status Ongoing
  • Fighting since separating from the United Kingdom in 1948
  • Major fighting in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Rakhine, and Shan State, fought over ethnic minorities' freedoms
  • In 2011, the military government stops their rule over Myanmar
  • Numerous peace deals signed by various groups since 2011
  • Ongoing violence between government soldiers and rebels
Myanmar Republic of the Union of Myanmar
  • Myanmar Armed Forces Emblem.svg Myanmar Armed Forces
  • Myanmar Police Emblem.png Myanmar Police Force

Former combatants:
Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg Union of Burma (1948–1962)

Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svg Military governments (1962–2011)

DKBA (1994–2010)

Opposition forces[note 1]

Fighting Peacock Flag.png ABSDF (since 1988)
AA Flag.png Arakan Army (since 2009)
Flag of DKBA-5.png DKBA-5 (since 2010)
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg KIO (since 1961)

Karen National Union Flag.png KNU (since 1949)

Karenni National Progressive Party flag.png Karenni Army (since 1949)
New Mon State Party flag.png MNLA (since 1958)
Flag of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-2015.png MNDAA (since 1989)
Flag of the NDAA.png NDAA (since 1989)
Shan State Army-North flag.png SSAN (since 1971)
SSA-S.svg SSAS (since 1996)
Ta'ang National Liberation Army Flag.png TNLA (since 1992)
United Wa State Party flag2.png UWSP (since 1989)

...and others
Supported by:
 China (alleged)[1]
 Thailand (until 2011)

Commanders and leaders
Myanmar Htin Kyaw
(President of Myanmar)

Myanmar Sein Win
(Minister of Defence)
MyanmarMyanmar Armed Forces Emblem.svg Min Aung Hlaing
MyanmarMyanmar Armed Forces Emblem.svg Soe Win
(Deputy Commander-in-Chief)

AA Flag.png Twan Mrat Naing

Flag of DKBA-5.png Bo Nat Khann Mway
Karen National Union Flag.png Naw Zipporah Sein
Karen National Union Flag.png Saw Mutu Say Poe
Flag of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-2015.png Pheung Kya-shin
Flag of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-2015.png Yang Mao-liang
SSA-S.svg Yawd Serk
United Wa State Army flag.png Bao Youxiang
United Wa State Army flag.png Wei Hsueh-kang

Myanmar Armed Forces Emblem.svg 492,000[note 2]

Myanmar Police Emblem.png 93,000[3]

Fighting Peacock Flag.png 600[5]–1,000[6]

AA Flag.png 1,500–2,500[7]
Flag of DKBA-5.png 1,500[8]
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg 8,000[9]
Karen National Liberation Army flag.svg 6,000
Karenni National Progressive Party flag.png 500
New Mon State Party flag.png 800+ (2,000 reserves)[10]
Flag of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-2015.png 3,000–4,000[11]
Flag of the NDAA.png 4,000
Shan State Army-North flag.png 8,000
SSA-S.svg 6,000[12]–8,000
Ta'ang National Liberation Army Flag.png 1,500+[13]
United Wa State Army flag.png 20,000[14]–25,000[15]
Unknown numbers of various other factions

Communist Party of Burma flag (1946-1969).png 6,000 (1951)
Karen National Liberation Army flag.svg 4,000+ (1951)
Republic of China Army Flag.svg 14,000 (1950)


Casualties and losses
130,000[20]–250,000[21] total killed

600,000–1,000,000 displaced or fled abroad[22]

The Internal conflict in Myanmar (also known as Burma) refers to fighting between government soldiers and rebels in Myanmar, and began shortly after it separated from the United Kingdom in 1948. The Government of Myanmar has fought different rebel forces from various ethnic minority groups. The cause of the conflict is the government's refusal to give minority groups the amount of political power that they want, and a feeling that minority rights are not respected by the government. Since the beginning of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of civilians in Myanmar have been killed in the wars and millions have become refugees.

In January 2013, British and European politicians called on Myanmar to stop its military offensive in the mostly Christian Kachin State.[23]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Only groups of significant size or recent activity are shown.
  2. Includes an additional 72,000 reserve personnel.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Richard Michael Gibson (2011). The Secret Army: Chiang Kai-shek and the Drug Warlords of the Golden Triangle. John Wiley and Sons. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-470-83018-5.
  2. International Institute for Strategic Studies; Hackett, James (ed.) (2010). The Military Balance 2010. London: Routledge, pp. 420-421. ISBN 1-85743-557-5.
  3. Myanmar Police Force Official Website
  4. Heppner & Becker, 2002: 18–19
  5. "ABSDF". Myanmar Peace Monitor.
  6. "Burma".
  7. "‘I Want to Stress That We Are Not the Enemy’". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  8. "DKBA-5". Myanmar Peace Monitor.
  9. AP, 4 May 2012, Myanmar state media report battles between government troops, Kachin rebels killed 31
  10. "NMSP". Myanmar Peace Monitor.
  11. "47 Govt Troops Killed, Tens of Thousands Flee Heavy Fighting in Shan State".
  12. Burma center for Ethnic Studies, Jan. 2012, "Briefing Paper No. 1"
  13. "TNLA". Myanmar Peace Monitor.
  14. Johnson, Tim (29 August 2009). China Urges Burma to Bridle Ethnic Militia Uprising at Border. The Washington Post.
  15. Davis, Anthony. "Wa army fielding new Chinese artillery, ATGMs". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  16. "Armed ethnic groups". Myanmar Peace Monitor.
  17. Pavković, 2011: 476
  18. Bertil Lintner (1999). Burma in revolt: opium and insurgency since 1948. Bangkok: Silkworm Press. ISBN 978-974-7100-78-5.
  19. Myanmar: Armed forces. Encyclopedia of the Nations.
  20. Modern Conflicts - Death Tolls .pdf
  21. "De re militari: muertos en Guerras, Dictaduras y Genocidios". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  22. Janie Hampton (2012). Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-54705-8.
  23. Barnabas Fund