Internal conflict in Myanmar

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Internal conflict in Burma
Date April 1948 – present
Location Burma
Status Conflict ongoing
  • Insurgency since 1948
  • Sporadic ethnic uprisings in certain states
  • Civil War in Shan and Kachin States
  • Military dissolves official rule
  • Numerous truces and ceasefires signed with various groups
  • Regime changes to form the Union Solidarity and Development Party
Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg Union government (1948–1962)

Burma Military government (since 1962)

Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (1994–2010)

Border clashes:
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Republic of China

Anti-government factions:

Karen National Union Flag.png Karen National Union (since 1949)

Flag of Jihad.svg Mujahideen
Communist Party of Burma flag (1946-1969).png Communist Party of Burma (1948–1988)

Flag of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-2015.png Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (since 1989)
Flag of the Shan State.svg National Democratic Alliance Army (since 1989)
Shan State Army flag.png Shan State Army (since 1988)

Wa nationality flag.png Wa National Army (1975-1988)
United Wa State Party flag.png United Wa State Party (since 1988)

Kachin Independence Army flag.svg Kachin Independence Organisation (since 1961)

Pa-o nationality flag.png Pa-O National Organization (1949-1991)
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Republic of China (1948-1962)
God's Army (1997-2006)
Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (since 2010)
Flag of National League for Democracy.svg All Burma Students' Democratic Front (Since 1980s-)
Shan State Volunteer Force (1967-1980)
Supported by:
 United States [1]
People's Republic of China People's Republic of China[2]

Commanders and leaders
Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svgSao Shwe Thaik (1948-1952)

Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svgU Nu (1952–1957)
Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg Win Maung (1957-1962)
Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svgNe Win (1962–1988)
Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svgSaw Maung (1988–1992)
Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svgThan Shwe (1992–2010)
BurmaThein Sein (since 2010)

Karen National Union Flag.png Bo Mya (1976-2000)

Karen National Union Flag.png Pado Phan (2000-2010)
Karen National Union Flag.png Naw Zipporah Sein (since 2011)
Communist Party of Burma flag (1946-1969).png Thein Pe Myint (1948-52)
Communist Party of Burma flag (1946-1969).png Thakin Than Tun (1952-68)
Myanmar National Democracy Alliance flag.svg Yang Mao-liang
Wa nationality flag.png Wei Hsueh-kang
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg Johnny and Luther Htoo
Flag of the Republic of China.svgLi Mi (1960-1961)
Bo Nat Khann Mway (DKBA, since 2008)
Lo Hsing Han (SSVF, 1967-1973)

43,000 (1951)[2]


Karen National Liberation Army flag.svg:6,000-7,000[3]

4,000+ (1951)[2]
Myanmar National Democracy Alliance flag.svg:1,500-2,000 (1998)[4]
Wa nationality flag.png:30,000
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg:8,000 [5]
Karenni Army
Chin National Front
Arakan Liberation Army
apx. 100 [3]
Communist Party of Burma flag (1946-1969).png:6,000 (1951)[2]
Flag of the Republic of China.svg:14,000
Unknown numbers of various other factions

Casualties and losses
between 5,000 and 10,000 killed (June 2011- September 2012)[6][7][8] Kachin Independence Army flag.svg:Over 700 killed (June 2011- September 2012)[6]
210,000 killed (1948-2006)[9]

Over 10,000 civilians killed in Rakhine State (in 2012)[10]

The internal conflict in Burma is a group of civil wars between the Government of Myanmar and armies of different ethnic minority groups. The cause of the wars 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 independence from Britain in 1948 hundreds of thousands of Myanmar's citizens 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 state of Kachin.[11]

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. pp. 85–90. ISBN 978-0-470-83018-5 .
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Richard, p. 88
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Burma center for Ethnic Studies, Jan. 2012, "Briefing Paper No. 1"
  4. Rotberg, Robert (1998). Burma: prospects for a democratic future. Brookings Institution Press. p. 169.
  5. AP, 4 May 2012, Myanmar state media report battles between government troops, Kachin rebels killed 31
  6. 6.0 6.1 Time for Thein Sein to come clean about Burmese losses in Kachin state, Kachin News, 22 September 2012 By Edward Chung Ho,
  7. 31 dead in new clashes with Kachin: Myanmar paper,May 5, 2012,\05\05\story_5-5-2012_pg14_7
  8. KIA says 211 army soldiers die in two-month fighting in Hpakant, Oct. 10, 2012,
  9. De re militari: muertos en Guerras, Dictaduras y Genocidios
  10. RISE's Urgent Call for Intervention: Rohingyas death toll 10,000, The Humanitarian Crisis Hub, Nov. 1, 2012,
  11. Barnabas Fund