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Myanmar

CrisisWatch Myanmar

Deteriorated Situation

Fighting significantly escalated in northern Shan State as militant groups combined to attack strategic targets. Joint force of Arakan Army (AA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) 15 Aug launched raids on several targets in Shan State and fired rockets at Myanmar’s elite defence academy in Mandalay region, killing nine soldiers, three police and three civilians, and destroying bridge on main route from Mandalay to Chinese border at Muse; groups 17 Aug launched series of coordinated attacks around northern Shan State capital Lashio, including firing on vehicle of local philanthropic association travelling to help civilians trapped by fighting, killing one member of group; clashes also around the strategic town of Kutkai. Military 31 Aug extended unilateral ceasefire in Kachin and Shan, originally announced in Dec 2018, until 21 Sept. AA attacks on security forces in Rakhine state continued, including early Aug ambush on military at Bangladesh border, killing deputy battalion commander; AA 20 Aug attack on convoy killed police captain and wounded four officers. Tensions continued over issue of repatriation of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; though Bangladesh 15 Aug said it was ready to return some 3,450 refugees from 22 Aug – approved by Myanmar from list of over 22,000 sent by Bangladeshi govt late-July – no Rohingya refugees willing to repatriate, amid concerns over security, rights and access to services if they return to Myanmar. UN Fact-Finding Mission 5 Aug released report detailing Myanmar military’s business interests and calling for targeted sanctions and arms embargoes, concluding that revenue earned from domestic and foreign business deals substantially enhances military’s ability to carry out “gross violations of human rights with impunity”; Mission also condemned military’s use of “sexual and gender-based violence to terrorise and punish ethnic minorities” in report released 22 Aug.

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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

Adviser, 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

Adviser, 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

Adviser, 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

Adviser, Myanmar

Latest Updates

Briefing / Asia

A New Dimension of Violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Ethnic Rakhine insurgents have attacked four police stations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, provoking a military counteroffensive. Escalation could imperil both prospects for Rohingya repatriation and the country’s transition toward civilian rule. All sides should step back from confrontation and pursue talks about Rakhine State’s future.

Also available in Burmese
Report / Asia

Fire and Ice: Conflict and Drugs in Myanmar’s Shan State

Civil strife has turned Myanmar’s Shan State into a crystal methamphetamine hub. The richer the traffickers get, the harder the underlying conflicts will be to resolve. Instead of targeting minor offenders, the military should root out corruption, including among top brass, and disarm complicit paramilitaries.

Also available in Burmese
Briefing / Asia

Bangladesh-Myanmar: The Danger of Forced Rohingya Repatriation

Bangladesh and Myanmar have struck a deal for the involuntary repatriation of over 2,000 Rohingya refugees. But the agreement is rushed and threatens stability on both sides of the border. Myanmar and Bangladesh should halt the plan and instead work to create conditions conducive to a safe and dignified return. 

Briefing / Asia

Myanmar’s Stalled Transition

Aung San Suu Kyi’s government appears stuck amid international condemnation of the Rohingya's mass displacement and domestic unease about the economy. To nudge Myanmar’s post-junta transition forward, the UN should combine engagement with pressure for accountability for crimes against humanity and eventual refugee return.

Also available in Burmese
Op-Ed / Asia

Rohingya Deserve Non-violent Leadership

Originally published in Asia Times

Our People

Richard Horsey

Adviser, Myanmar
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