Internal Conflict in Burma

The internal conflict in Burma is the longest ongoing war in the worldand began shortly after the country's independence in 1948 from the United Kingdom. Successive central governments of Burma (or Myanmar) have fought a myriad of ethnic and political rebellions. Some of the earliest insurgencies were instigated by Burmese-dominated "multi-colored" leftists and by the Karen National Union (KNU). The KNU fought to carve out an independent Karen state from large swaths of Lower Burma. Other ethnic rebellions broke out only in the early 1960s after the central government refused to consider a federal style government. By the early 1980s, politically oriented armed insurgencies had largely withered away, but ethnic-based insurgencies continue.

These insurgencies were supported or used by foreign states, exacerbating the isolation, suspicion and concern among Burmans over both their minorities and foreign powers. Some British had supported the Karen; East Pakistan (and then Bangladesh) backed the Muslim Rohingyas on their border with Middle Eastern backing. The Indians were said to be involved with the Kachin and the Karen. The Chinese assisted the CPB (later the Wa), the Naga and Kachin rebels. The United States supported the Kuomintang, and the Thai a wide variety of rebel groups, essentially creating buffer states or zones. Prior to the ceasefires, the largely Burman-dominated armed forces made futile annual dry season campaigns, only to see the rebels return after they left.

The Burman dominated central governments (civilian and military alike) were unable to reach a political agreement even though the stated goal of most, if not all, major ethnic insurgencies (including the KNU) is autonomy, not secession. Today, the government has signed uneasy ceasefire agreements with most insurgent groups but fighting, especially in the Kachin Conflict, continues. The army has been widely accused of mistreating the local population with impunity, and is viewed as an occupying force in the ethnic regions.

Read more about Internal Conflict In Burma:  Background, Foreign Support, 8888 Uprising, 2005–2012, Ceasefire Agreements

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Internal Conflict In Burma - Ceasefire Agreements
... A peace agreement between the KNU and Burmese government is one of the primary demands made by Western countries before economic sanctions can be lifted ... Min Ko Naing, the leader of the pro-democracy uprisings in 1988, said upon his release from Tayet prison "We need peace across the country immediately ...

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