Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Youtube

Myanmar

In Rakhine state, longstanding communal tensions and extreme discrimination by the government against the Rohingya Muslim minority has morphed into a major crisis. Following renewed attacks by a militant group on security targets in northern Rakhine in August 2017, a brutal response by the military has driven more than 430,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh. In addition to the human catastrophe, this could undermine the political transition and make Myanmar a target for transnational jihadist groups. The peace process with some 21 ethnic armed groups has lost momentum, and a negotiated settlement remains elusive. Resurgent Buddhist nationalism threatens to divide communities and faiths in this multi-ethnic, multi-religious country. Through field research and advocacy aimed at the Myanmar government as well as influential regional and international actors, Crisis Group works to help mitigate the crisis in Rakhine state, strengthen the peace process and promote improved intercommunal relations.

CrisisWatch Myanmar

Unchanged Situation

Chair of UN-appointed Fact Finding Mission Marzuki Darusman 24 Oct briefed UN Security Council on Sept final report into rights violations in Rakhine State and other parts of Myanmar, which gave further details to back up its findings of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and possible genocide by Myanmar military, and called for removal of military leadership, restructuring of institution and end to its political role; report also rejected general economic sanctions. Darusman said thousands of Rohingya still fleeing “ongoing genocide”. Myanmar and Bangladesh officials 30 Oct agreed to start repatriation of refugees mid-Nov. EU 5 Oct announced it is considering revoking Myanmar’s access to “Everything But Arms” preferential trade scheme, which can be withdrawn in case of “serious and systematic violation” of human and labour rights; campaign groups criticised move which could seriously affect garment industry employing some 450,000 people, mostly young women from poor rural families, calling instead for expansion of targeted sanctions on individuals including Commander-in-Chief. At UN Human Rights Council late Sept, members approved resolution establishing body to consolidate evidence of crimes against Rohingya into case files linked to specific perpetrators, to pave way for future international prosecutions. Australia 23 Oct imposed sanctions on five senior military officials, aligning with U.S. and EU. Govt and representatives of ten non-State armed groups met in summit in Naypyitaw 15-16 Oct, third anniversary of signing of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement; no real progress in overcoming main issues deadlocking peace process, including military demands that armed groups accept principle of non-secession before further dialogue on federalism and security sector reform. Conflict in Kachin and Northern Shan states still eased due to monsoon season and summit, although clashes starting to increase in Northern Shan.

Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

In The News

29 Nov 2017
The Pope was aware that inserting himself too strongly into a situation with a lot of religious undertones could inflame tensions further in Myanmar. ABC

Richard Horsey

Consultant, Myanmar
26 Nov 2017
[Buddhist] monks feel the [Myanmar] government is weak on the protection of Buddhism and keeping the morals of the country intact. CNN

Richard Horsey

Consultant, Myanmar
5 Sep 2017
The [Myanmar] military and government should be careful not to assume all Rohingya are sympathizers or supporters [of jihadis]. Deutsche Welle

Anagha Neelakantan

Former Program Director, Asia
29 Aug 2017
It should be in the government’s power to create the conditions in which to implement some of these recommendations [of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State in Myanmar]. RFI

Anagha Neelakantan

Former Program Director, Asia
31 Mar 2017
Most [political] transitions end badly like the Arab spring. [They] are always bumpy and I think Myanmar is going through a particularly bumpy moment in its transition. The Guardian

Richard Horsey

Consultant, Myanmar
3 Feb 2017
The threat is not because of [Harakah al-Yaqin's] military strength, it's because of what they represent, the potential of [Myanmar] facing a very well organized, violent jihadist movement. CNN

Richard Horsey

Consultant, Myanmar

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Asia

Rohingya Deserve Non-violent Leadership

Originally published in Asia Times

Commentary / Asia

Myanmar/Bangladesh: A Humanitarian Calamity and a Two-country Crisis

More than one million Muslim Rohingya forced to flee from Myanmar now live in camps in south-eastern Bangladesh. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to increase funding for refugee assistance and use diplomatic leverage to find a compromise on the issue of refugee repatriation.

Op-Ed / Asia

Will Rohingya Refugees Start Returning to Myanmar in 2018?

Most went back home from Bangladesh in two earlier exoduses, but this time is different.

Originally published in Nikkei Asian Review

Commentary / Asia

Rohingya Crisis: A Major Threat to Myanmar Transition and Regional Stability

The international community’s failure to address Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis has resulted in massive displacement from Rakhine state. The crisis poses a clear threat to Myanmar’s democratic transition. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – Third Update early warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to support strong Security Council action and push for multilateral and bilateral engagement with Myanmar’s civilian and military leaders.

Our People

Richard Horsey

Consultant, Myanmar
rshorsey