Myanmar

Crisis Group is monitoring the upsurge in violence in the country triggered by the military's 1 February 2021 coup d'état which deposed the Aung San Suu Kyi administration. The regime has brutally cracked down on protesters, killing hundreds and detaining thousands. Public sector strikes and other forms of civil disobedience have prevented the regime from consolidating its control, and plunged the country into deep economic crisis. Some of the country’s ethnic armed groups have gone on the offensive, and new forms of armed resistance by civilian militias and underground networks have emerged. Although Rakhine State has so far avoided some of the worst of the violence, the plight of the Rohingya remains unaddressed and the prospects for a return of almost one million languishing in camps in Bangladesh looks bleak. Through field research and advocacy, Crisis Group works to understand the new violent dynamics unleashed by the coup and mitigate the impact on the people of the country.

CrisisWatch Myanmar

Unchanged Situation

Military clashed heavily with Arakan Army in Rakhine State and resistance forces in centre amid mounting allegations of atrocities, while regime pardoned thousands of prisoners.

Arakan Army (AA) stepped up ambushes on military in Rakhine State. Clashes were reported in four townships 8 Nov, with AA claiming to have killed at least ten members of security forces. AA landmines 10 Nov struck military truck carrying rations in Ponnagyun township, killing ten soldiers; regime forces same day retaliated by massacring at least nine civilians in nearby village. AA 14 Nov ambushed military convoy in northern Maungdaw township, 15 Nov attacked military outposts in Buthidaung and Ponnagyun townships. Military 15 Nov allegedly shelled children’s birthday party in Maungdaw, killing at least 11 civilians.

Resistance forces and military battled in central and southern areas. In Sagaing region, regime soldiers 6 Nov allegedly killed as many as 14 people, including eight civilians and four People’s Defence Forces (PDF) members, in Monywa township; several victims showed signs of severe torture. Meanwhile, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and allied PDFs launched several major attacks in mid-Nov, capturing military outposts; notably, 12 Nov attacked police station in Kyaikmayaw township, Mon State, killing three police officers, and same day captured three military camps in Bago region.

Regime released prisoners amid 2023 election preparations. In mass pardon to mark National Day, regime 17 Nov released almost 6,000 prisoners, including former ministers, activists, senior National League for Democracy (NLD) officials and four foreigners; regime claimed 700 were political prisoners. Meanwhile, Vice Senior General Soe Win 10 Nov chaired meeting on verifying voter lists for 2023 election while leader Min Aung Hlaing next day underscored importance of ongoing peace talks with ethnic armed groups to support election, expressing hope of concluding agreements with armed groups by year’s end. New Mon State Party 9-10 Nov participated in third round of talks with regime.

ASEAN reiterated support for its diplomatic initiative. Regional body ASEAN leaders 11 Nov retained its Five Point Consensus to end crisis, tasked FMs with developing “concrete” implementation plan, and agreed to maintain ban on regime officials attending meetings.

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In The News

31 Jul 2022
This charge against a Japanese journalist shows the regime [in Myanmar] is determined to continue stifling objective reporting, whether by local or foreign journalists. AFP

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
20 Dec 2021
Myanmar's status as one of the world's largest illicit drug producers is only possible because of criminal justice failures. VICE

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
6 Dec 2021
Myanmar needs to be a much higher diplomatic priority for the major powers and the UN. The Guardian

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
21 Nov 2021
There’s significance in the propaganda war that’s playing out [in Myanmar]. I think they [the military] make the resistance feel emboldened and confident. The New York Times

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
1 Oct 2021
Much of the population [of Myanmar] is determined to prevent a return to military rule, at the cost of their lives if necessary. AFP

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
17 Sep 2021
Many people in Myanmar struggle to see how nonviolence can be effective in a situation where the regime is willing to unleash extraordinary levels of violence against ord... LA Times

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar

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Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
Richard Horsey

Thomas Kean

Senior Consultant, Myanmar & Bangladesh
Thomas Kean

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