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 remained on backfoot as ethnic armed groups in north expanded control before agreeing to another tenuous ceasefire, while Arakan Army made major gains in west; regime extended state of emergency for six months. 

Three Brotherhood Alliance seized territory in Shan State before partial ceasefire. After collapse of China-brokered peace talks on 23 Dec, heavy clashes continued between Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) – member of Three Brotherhood Alliance – and regime in Kokang Self-Administered Zone in northern Shan State, where MNDAA seized full control of Laukkai town as 2,400 soldiers 3 Jan surrendered. Brotherhood Alliance 6 Jan attacked Hopang and Pan Lone towns in regime-controlled part of Wa Self-Administered Division. Concurrently, Brotherhood member Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) clashed heavily with regime forces in bid to solidify its control in northern Shan State, capturing Kutkai town on 7 Jan; TNLA consolidated its position around Lashio, Kyaukme and Hsipaw towns. Following third round of China-brokered talks, regime and Brotherhood Alliance 11 Jan agreed to ceasefire in northern Shan State; TNLA, however, 13 Jan accused regime of launching airstrikes in Kyaukme and Mogoke townships. 

Arakan Army (AA) broadened its offensive in Rakhine. With 11 Jan ceasefire not applying to Rakhine theatre, AA (member of alliance) 15 Jan captured all of Paletwa township and detained regime brigadier-general before expanding operations further south, forcing battalion of regime soldiers to surrender in Minbya on 17 Jan, and seizing Pauktaw town, close to state capital Sittwe, on 24 Jan. 

Hostilities persisted in Kachin and Kayah states. After Kachin Independence Army (KIA) mid Dec captured two outposts in Kachin State from military and allied militia forces, KIA 3 Jan shot down regime Mi-17 transport helicopter near Laiza, killing six crew members. In Kayah, Karenni Nationalities Defence Force and other allied groups claimed to control more than 80% of state capital Loikaw. 

Regime extended state of emergency. Despite devastating battlefield losses and unprecedented nationalist criticism of regime leader Min Aung Hlaing, regime showed little sign of panic: Min Aung Hlaing 4 Jan announced plans to hold national census to improve voter list for general election. On eve of third anniversary of coup, regime 31 Jan extended state of emergency for six months.

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In The News

16 lut 2024
The [Myanmar] military is clearly facing significant manpower shortages, which is why it is introducing a draft for the first time in its history. Reuters

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
30 sty 2024
The military [in Myanmar] might not have the ability to vanquish its opponents, but it retains an enormous capacity for violence, especially against civilian targets. VOA

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
13 gru 2023
When the Myanmar military feels under pressure, its normal response is to ramp up the level of violence. The Wall Street Journal

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
14 lis 2023
Myanmar needs Russia because it doesn't want to be isolated ... and they also need an alternative to China in the region. Newsweek

Oleg Ignatov

Senior Analyst, Russia
13 lis 2023
If combat persists [in Rakhine State], it will open a significant new front for the regime [in Myanmar], which is already overstretched. Reuters

Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
21 cze 2023
The election [in Myanmar] was the regime's exit strategy from day one, and it doesn't appear to have a backup plan. VOA

Thomas Kean

Senior Consultant, Myanmar & Bangladesh

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Richard Horsey

Senior Adviser, Myanmar
Richard Horsey

Thomas Kean

Senior Consultant, Myanmar & Bangladesh
Thomas Kean

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