A ceasefire between Myanmar’s government and armed groups is tantalising close. It would end 60 years of armed conflict and ease the path of democratic transition. But time is short before historic elections on 8 November, and any failure to seal an accord could trigger renewed clashes that would be hard to bring back under control.
01 October 2015
Official campaign period for 8 Nov general election began 8 Sept; some 6,000 candidates from 91 registered parties competing for 1,171 parliamentary seats. Electoral commission rejected 100 candidat ...
Myanmar’s November elections will be a critical inflection point. Despite significant progress in election administration and in ending a two-generation-long civil war, the fragile peace process and incomplete political reforms constitute major challenges. All sides must ensure that zero-sum politics around the elections does not imperil the transition.
The highly volatile situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State adds dangerously to the country’s political and religious tensions. Long-term, incremental solutions are critical for the future of Rakhine State and the country as a whole.
It was Myanmar’s military that initiated the end of its own dictatorship; to advance stable reform, it needs to continue withdrawing from civilian life.
Unless there is an effective government response and change in societal attitudes, violence against Myanmar’s Muslim communities could spread, jeopardising the country’s transition as well as its standing in the region and beyond.
The deal that has now been struck between the Myanmar government and the Kachin armed group is a major step forward, but securing a sustainable peace will require much more work.
Even as Myanmar’s democratic transition continues apace, ethnic violence in Rakhine State represents a threat to national stability. It demands decisive moral leadership from all the country’s leaders as they strive to find long-term solutions to the many challenges that lie ahead, including longstanding discrimination of the Rohingya and other Muslim minorities.
Political transition and economic reconstruction are deeply entwined in Myanmar, and the government, the country’s elites and the international community must embrace both for the dramatic reforms underway to succeed.
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Myanmar Conflict Alert: Preventing Communal Bloodshed and Building Better Relations
12 Jun 2012
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