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

Regime prepared for election and pursued dialogue with ethnic armed groups, while ongoing heavy clashes between military and resistance groups displaced thousands.

Regime continued election preparations and peace talks with ethnic armed groups. Leader Min Aung Hlaing 5 Jan called for update of voter list as part of preparation for election likely held mid-year. Regime 26 Jan issued new highly restrictive political party registration law, which will likely result in most parties being dissolved within 60 days. Election faced opposition: National Unity Govt (NUG) urged public not to cooperate with process, and resistance groups during month staged more than dozen attacks on teams updating voter lists across country, including assault which killed one in Tanintharyi region 9 Jan. Meanwhile, discussions with ethnic armed groups under regime peace initiative continued; nine of ten groups participated in three rounds of meetings as of 25 Jan. Officials 5-7 Jan met United Wa State Party, National Democratic Alliance Army (Mongla) and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP); SSPP 7 Jan said groups would not oppose election process. Marking Independence Day, Tatmadaw 4 Jan released 7,012 prisoners, including some 300 political prisoners.

Military launched airstrikes against ethnic armed groups in north. In Kachin State, military 9 Jan conducted air attacks on Kachin Independence Army base in Tanai township and outposts in Hpakant and Hkamti townships. In Chin State, regime 10 Jan launched airstrikes against Chin National Front (CNF) headquarters at Camp Victoria, Thantlang township, killing five CNF soldiers and injuring ten; additional airstrike next day damaged medical facility and destroyed three homes.

Military and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) clashes displaced thousands. In Kayin State, military 1 Jan launched around 20 airstrikes against KNLA Brigade 6 and Kawthoolei Army’s Lion Battalion in Kyainseikgyi township following groups’ late Dec seizure of two bases near Payathonesu, killing seven Lion Battalion soldiers. Brigade 6 and allied People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) 4 Jan launched attacks on three infantry battalions around Kyainseikgyi; military responded with helicopter gunships. Military next day bombed Brigade 6-aligned Karen National Union administrative office in Dooplaya district. Clashes displaced some 10,000 people, and KNLA claimed it killed 70 soldiers.

Continue reading

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

Latest Updates

Our People

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
Richard Horsey

Thomas Kean

Senior Consultant, Myanmar & Bangladesh
Thomas Kean

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.