Internal conflict in Myanmar

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Internal conflict in Myanmar
Date2 April 1948[2] – present
(72 years, 3 months, 1 week and 5 days)
Myanmar (Burma)


  • Fighting since Myanmar separated from the United Kingdom in 1948
  • Major ethnic fighting in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Rakhine, and Shan State
  • In 2011, the military government stops their rule over Myanmar
  • Numerous peace deals signed by many groups since 2011
  • Ongoing violence between government soldiers and rebels
Partially independent "self-administered zones" created for ethnic minorities in 2010

Myanmar Republic of the Union of Myanmar

  • Myanmar Armed Forces

Past combatants:
Union of Burma (1948–1962)

Military governments (1962–2011)

DKBA (1994–2010)

Rebel groups[note 1]
ABSDF (since 1988)
Arakan Army (since 2009)
ARSA (since 2016)
DKBA-5 (since 2010)
KIO (since 1961)

KNU (since 1949)

Karenni Army (since 1949)
MNLA (since 1958)
MNDAA (since 1989)
NDAA (since 1989)
SSAN (since 1971)
SSAS (since 1996)
TNLA (since 1992)
UWSP (since 1989)

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

Commanders and leaders

Myanmar Htin Kyaw
(President of Myanmar)
Myanmar Sein Win
(Minister of Defence)
Myanmar Min Aung Hlaing
Myanmar Soe Win
(Deputy Commander-in-Chief)

Twan Mrat Naing
Ataullah abu Ammar Jununi (ARSA)
Naw Zipporah Sein
Saw Mutu Say Poe
Pheung Kya-shin
Yang Mao-liang
Bao Youxiang
Wei Hsueh-kang


492,000[note 2]

800+ (2,000 reserves)[10]
Unknown numbers of various other factions


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 refers to fighting between government soldiers and rebels in Myanmar, which began shortly after the country, formerly known as Burma, separated from the United Kingdom in 1948. The government of Myanmar has fought different rebel groups from different ethnic minorities. The cause of the conflict is the government's refusal to give minority groups such as the communists and the Karen people the amount of political representation that they want. Since the beginning of the fighting, hundreds of thousands of civilians in Myanmar have been killed and millions have become refugees.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Only active and/or large rebel groups are shown.
  2. This number includes soldiers not actively fighting rebels. The armed forces also have an additional 72,000 reserve (backup) soldiers.[3]

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. 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.
  3. International Institute for Strategic Studies; Hackett, James (ed.) (2010). The Military Balance 2010. London: Routledge, pp. 420-421. ISBN 1-85743-557-5.
  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.