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Myanmar

CrisisWatch Myanmar

Unchanged Situation

Conflict in Kachin and Shan states eased somewhat due to onset of monsoon. Data compiled by UN humanitarian agency 1 June showed over 60,000 people temporarily displaced by fighting in Kachin and Shan states between Jan 2017 and May 2018, with most subsequently returning to their areas of origin; 103,000 people remaining in camps in Shan and Kachin states as result of conflict that resumed in 2011. Concerns over conditions of Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh grew with beginning of seasonal heavy rains, which caused flooding, landslides and logistical challenges, and several fatalities from mudslides. UN refugee agency said some 200,000 out of 720,000 refugees “at risk” need to be relocated to safer areas. Still no refugee returns through official system, however small number of Rohingya reported to be returning informally to Rakhine state. Govt 6 June signed memorandum of understanding with UN refugee and development agencies on cooperation on repatriation of refugees from Bangladesh. President’s office 31 May announced that govt would establish three-member Independent Commission of Enquiry to investigate alleged human rights violations in northern Rakhine state, commission to include an international personality and assisted by national and international legal and technical experts. International Criminal Court (ICC) began discussions on possible investigation into alleged deportation of Rohingya to Bangladesh, gave Myanmar 27 July deadline to provide observations on the legal and factual aspects of the case for jurisdiction. UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Burgener visited 12-22 June, met with state counsellor and commander-in-chief, visited Rakhine; then travelled to Thailand, China, Bangladesh. European Council 25 June decided to impose sanctions on seven Myanmar military officials over rights violations against Rohingya. Facebook 7 June announced it would ban several “hardline” monks and designated radical race and religion protection group, Ma Ba Tha, as a “hate organization.”

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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.

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Richard Horsey

Consultant, Myanmar
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