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Home > Main Library > Internal conflict > Internal conflict in Burma > Ceasefire and ex-ceasefire Groups > Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-MNDAA (Kokang)

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Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army-MNDAA (Kokang)

Individual Documents

Title: Consequences of the Kokang crisis for peace, democracy in Myanmar
Date of publication: 08 August 2015
Description/subject: "The renewed violence in the Kokang region of the northern Shan state in February has had serious repercussions for efforts to solve ethnic conflict in Myanmar and end the decades-old civil war."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) via "The Nation" (Bangkok)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 August 2015

Title: Military Confrontation or Political Dialogue: Consequences of the Kokang Crisis for Peace and Democracy in Myanmar
Date of publication: 17 July 2015
Description/subject: "...In summary, the return of the MNDAA to the Kokang region is a result of the failed policies of the past and set in motion a series of unprecedented events. These include a deterioration in relations with China which, as a result, has become more focal in Myanmar’s peace process, and a hastily- arranged ethnic summit at the headquarters of the UWSA, the country’s largest armed opposition group, which until now had shied away from becoming involved in alliance political affairs. The renewed hostilities have also negatively impacted on prospects for the signing of a nationwide ceasefire agreement. Excluding some groups from an NCA and future political dialogue is a high-risk strategy. It will continue divisive, and unsuccessful, practices from the past whereby some nationality forces have ceasefires with the government, while the Tatmadaw pursues military tactics against others. As Myanmar’s tragic experience since independence has frequently warned, conflict in any part of the country can quickly lead to national instability. Therefore, at a time of critical political transition in the country, failure to address the root causes of armed conflict and to create an inclusive political process to solve nationality grievances is only likely to have a very detrimental impact on the prospects for peace, democracy and development. If the government is serious and determined to bring peace to all Myanmar’s peoples, military solutions to ethnic conflict must no longer be pursued, and an inclusive political dialogue should start as soon as possible. Experiences from other countries entangled in decades of civil war around the world have long shown that ceasefires are not a necessary precondition to start political negotiations. Peace in Myanmar needs to move from arguments about process to agreements about delivery. In short, it is time to end military confrontation and to start political dialogue."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
Format/size: pdf (756K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/TNI-2015-07-military_confrontation_or_political_dialogue.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 August 2015

Title: Myanmar’s Fight With Rebels Creates Refugees and Ill Will With China
Date of publication: 21 March 2015
Description/subject: "When rumors spread around the sugar-cane farms in northern Myanmar that the army was advancing, Li Jiapeng and his family packed some clothes, grabbed some cash and joined a long line of people fleeing in cars and on foot. Everyone was heading for safety on the other side of the border in China, just six miles away. The next day, he could hear the sounds of battle. “We came to the Chinese side early in the morning, and we began to hear gunshots that afternoon from Laogai, our hometown,” Mr. Li, 23, a university student whose family grows walnuts, tea and sugar cane, said by phone from Yunnan Province in southern China. In the last six weeks, the Myanmar Army has been fighting rebels of the Kokang, a Chinese ethnic group that has lived in the mountains of northern Myanmar for more than 400 years, and keeps strong linguistic, education and trading ties to China. Myanmar has been afflicted with fighting between its various ethnic groups and the army for decades, but the current battle, fueled by rebels armed with weapons bought with the proceeds of a flourishing drug trade, is potentially more serious because it touches on the country’s sensitive relationship with China..."
Author/creator: Jane Perlez
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New York Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 March 2015

Title: Kokang: The Backstory
Date of publication: 09 March 2015
Description/subject: "The sudden outbreak of hostilities in northern Shan State’s remote Kokang region has taken many by surprise. Some have posted messages on social media sites saying that “those people” are not Myanmar citizens, and a government official even branded the hostilities a “Chinese invasion.” While it is true that 90 percent of Kokang’s inhabitants are ethnic Chinese and few can speak the Myanmar language, reality is not quite that simple. The area is definitively on Myanmar’s side of the border with China, and the ethnic Kokang are one of the “135 national races” officially recognized by the government. But how did they end up in Myanmar and who are they?..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 March 2015

Title: Wa Asked Not to Provide Arms to Kokang Rebels
Date of publication: 06 March 2015
Description/subject: "The Burma Army this week summoned representatives of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) to ask them not to provide arms or ammunition to Kokang rebels in eastern Burma, where conflict has raged between rebels and government troops since early February. UWSA spokesperson Aung Myint told The Irrawaddy that seven representatives, including a Brigadier-General, were called to the meeting in Lashio, Shan State. “Our delegates told us that [the Burma Army] asked them not to provide Kokang with arms,” he said. The delegates were invited by Lt-Gen Aung Than Htut, of the office of the commander-in-chief, he said. On Feb. 22, state media reported that Kokang rebels, known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) had rebuilt their strength to regain their area with the help of the UWSA” and other armed groups. The report, which was based on a press conference led by Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo, said that the MNDAA possessed a number of weapons “including Type 81-1assault rifle said to be manufactured by UWSA.” The UWSA has denied allegations of providing arms to the MNDAA, claiming instead that the weapons in question were acquired long before the current conflict erupted..."
Author/creator: BONE MYAT
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2015

Title: Govt Wrong to Suggest Wa, China Involvement in Kokang Conflict: UWSA
Date of publication: 27 February 2015
Description/subject: "A representative of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Burma’s most powerful ethnic armed group, on Friday denied allegations made by the Burma Army that the UWSA is involved in the ongoing Kokang conflict in northern Shan State. The Wa officer also urged the army to end speculation over the involvement of Chinese nationals in the fighting, saying that it risked misrepresenting the Wa and Kokang as tied to China, while they are in fact ethnic minorities of Burma. Aung Myint, a spokesperson of UWSA, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the group sent a letter to President Thein Sein on Thursday informing him that the Wa were in no way supporting the Kokang rebels, while also calling for a meeting with the president. Aung Myint said since the start of the conflict the government appeared to be playing nationalist politics by associating the Wa with the Kokang and China. “They tried to involve our name in the fighting, but they do not have any evidence for it. We found that this case is used in current politics; they wanted to divert public attention in the country by doing this,” he said..."
Author/creator: LAWI WENG
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2015

Title: Is Myanmar’s Peace Process Unraveling?
Date of publication: 24 February 2015
Description/subject: "Over the last three weeks, fighting has broken out in Myanmar’s northeast between the military and several ethnic minority militias, including the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and, allegedly, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). The KIA is one of the most powerful insurgent groups in Myanmar. At least 30,000 civilians have fled across the border into China, and the fighting has killed at least 130 people. The Myanmar military has attacked rebel groups with air strikes, and the fighting shows no sign of letting up. The fighting began on February 9, when Kokang rebels attacked government troops in the town of Laukkai and the Myanmar army launched a fierce counterattack. The exact reasons for the clash on February 9 remain somewhat unclear. The fighting may stem from a personal feud between the Kokang group’s leader and the Myanmar armed forces’ commander in chief, or it may have been sparked by a desire by the Kokang militia to take back control of Laukkai. Or, the attack may have been retaliation for previous unreported attacks on Kokang fighters by the Myanmar military. Or, it may have stemmed from a dispute over drug trafficking and its profits; the northeast of Myanmar is one of the biggest producers of opium and synthetic methamphetamine stimulants in Asia. Still, the broader security environment in Myanmar clearly has played a role in this recent outbreak of fighting. Indeed, the Kokang clashes with the Burmese army are reflective of several disturbing trends in Myanmar – trends that, if they continue, could undermine the country’s peace process and possibly lead to a wider outbreak of civil war..."
Author/creator: Joshua Kurlantzick
Language: English
Source/publisher: [US] Council on Foreign Relations
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 February 2015

Title: Kokang needs a political solution
Date of publication: 23 February 2015
Description/subject: "The Kokang region traces its roots to the anti-Chinese riots that broke out in June 1967 under General Ne Win. A series of attacks on Chinese people took place in Yangon and other towns. During the riots, the Chinese embassy was also attacked. A lot of Myanmar-born Chinese fled in the aftermath of the riots, which incensed the Communist Party of China and its leaders. Some armed groups that took refuge in China, including those of Kachin leader Naw Saing and Kokang leader Pheung Kya-shin, took part in a massive Burma Communist Party (BCP) push into Shan State on January 1, 1968. The BCP force also included a lot of Chinese volunteers. Some of these volunteers would go on to hold senior positions in the BCP. Chinese advisers and BCP leaders chose to launch the offensive into Myanmar from the Kokang region. On January 1, a combined force of BCP, Chinese and Naw Saing’s troops captured the camp of the Tatmadaw’s No 45 Infantry Regiment at Mone Koe in Kokang region. Two days later, Chinese troops, together with Pheung Kya-shin forces and BCP soldiers, occupied Lone Htan, another Tatmadaw military position in Kokang. The Kokang region became the first Myanmar territory to succumb to BCP forces with the help of Chinese soldiers. The BCP army consisted of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and a “liberated region” appeared later in northeast Myanmar. This region included what were known as the Kokang, Wa, Mong La and Kachin War Zone 101 areas. General Ne Win was so concerned by the Chinese occupation of northeast of Myanmar that he took steps to rebuild relations with China."
Author/creator: Sithu Aung Myint
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" (English)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2015