Myanmar Conflict (1948 - )

Internal conflict, mostly along ethno-political fault lines, has been a constant feature of Myanmar since its independence in 1948. The conflict has two distinct dynamics. First a struggle between an authoritarian government and a pro-democracy opposition which has the characteristics of authoritarian conflicts; and second a stuggle between the government and ethnic armed groups which has the characteristics of an identity conflict. The two oldest and strongest militias fighting the government are the Karen National Union (KNU), which has remained active since the late 1940s, and the Kachin Independence Organisation, which was formed in the early 1960s. In total, here are more than a dozen mostly ethnic-based guerrilla groups active throughout the country. Especially in the period of junta dictatorship that lasted until 2011 the government attempted to crush the rebellions, which led to numerous human rights violations. With the start of democratic reforms in the aftermath of the 2010 elections, peace negotiations have taken place and resulted in the signing of various agreements, although conflicts remain active.

The University of Edinburgh