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Armed conflict in Kachin State - ceasefires and ceasefire talks

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Kachin Battle Report
Description/subject: Articles on offensives, peace talks etc. from February 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.mizzima.com/special/kachin-battle-report.html
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2012

Individual Documents

Title: A Tentative Peace in Myanmar’s Kachin Conflict
Date of publication: 12 June 2013
Description/subject: "On 30 May 2013, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) signed a tentative peace agreement with the Myanmar government – the last of the eleven major ethnic armed groups to do so since 2011. This represents a major opportunity to secure lasting peace in Kachin State, and in the co untry as a whole. Yet, there will be significant challenges in doing so. Key issues still need to be discussed and agreed, including the repositioning of troops from both sides to reduce the chance of clashes, a monitoring mechanism, and a meaningful political dialogue. Major steps need to be taken to develop an equitable peace economy, and the exploitation of Kachin’s significant natural resources, if not appropriately re gulated, could compound inequalities and trigger renewed conflict. Much remains to be done to avoid a repeat of the failures of the previous ceasefire process..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG) Asia Briefing N°140
Format/size: pdf (299K-OBL version; 618K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/b140-a-tentative-peace-...
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2013

Title: Briefing: Fresh hopes for peace in Myanmar's Kachin State
Date of publication: 03 June 2013
Description/subject: "KACHIN STATE, 3 June 2013 (IRIN) - The UN and others have welcomed recent peace talks aimed at reaching a cease-fire in Myanmar's conflict-affected Kachin State, but building trust will take time, say experts. On 31 May, the Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), which has been fighting for greater autonomy for decades, agreed to further dialogue and talks on the resettlement of tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs). According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are more than 85,000 IDPs in Kachin and Shan states (both in the north), including over 50,000 (58.5 percent) in areas controlled by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the military wing of the KIO. Many others are staying with host families. Over the past two years, hundreds have been killed in the conflict and there has been extensive damage to livelihoods and infrastructure. According to the recently released inter-agency Kachin Response Plan, an upsurge in fighting in late 2012 triggered the displacement of several thousand more people. Since the resumption of peace talks in February, fewer have been displaced, but there have not yet been significant numbers of IDPs returning to their homes due to ongoing tensions, lack of livelihood opportunities, and landmines..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: IRIN
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013

Title: PARTIES TO THE CONFLICT - KIO-Supported Armed Groups in the Kachin Conflict
Date of publication: June 2013
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "The ethnic situation in the country in relation to the peace process has improved, yet major obstacles still remain. Many armed ethnic actors have called for a ‘Panglong style dialogue’ which the Government has suggested will happen shortly. This all-inclusive dialogue offers armed groups a number of opportunities to finally realise their aspirations. Nevertheless, a number of other armed ethnic actors will need to rethink their positions. This political dialogue will exclude some actors, either because they have no political aims or are much smaller and considered inconsequential. While the Ta-ang have made clear there aims, the future of the Arakan Army and the ABSDF-North remains firmly in the hands of the Kachin."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 14)
Format/size: pdf (224K)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-14.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2013

Title: KIO and Burma government agree to deescalate tensions
Date of publication: 31 May 2013
Description/subject: "Peace talks held in the Kachin state capital Myitkyina on Thursday ended with both the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the government delegation signing a joint agreement to lessen tensions. Under the seven point agreement both parties agreed to open monitoring offices and begin assistance projects geared towards helping the more than 100,000 people displaced by the fighting. While the agreement fell short of a full ceasefire, the agreement does aim to “prevent further clashes while efforts are underway to reduce fighting”, according to fish farming businessman turned peace broker Hla Maung Shwe..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013

Title: Myanmar 'reaches truce' with Kachin rebels
Date of publication: 30 May 2013
Description/subject: Government and rebel leaders agree preliminary ceasefire to end two years of fighting...Min Zaw Oo, the director of the Myanmar Peace Centre, told the AFP news agency that Kachin and government representatives had signed a seven-point plan, including an agreement to halt hostilities. "The agreement is to stop fighting at this point and afterwards there are going to be detailed discussions about the repositioning of troops," he said on Thursday. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and President Thein Sein's government held three days of talks in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin. Previous rounds of negotiations had been held across the border in China. They also agreed to hold political dialogue, a key demand of the Kachin, who have long argued that negotiations should address their demands for more political rights as well as greater autonomy. The two sides also agreed to hold discussions on resettling people displaced by the fighting and create a joint monitoring team..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013

Title: Ongoing struggles
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: Key Points: • Myanmar's central democratic reforms have received broad backing, enabling it to boost its legitimacy and consolidate its hold on power. • Although tentative ceasefires have been concluded with most of the ethno-nationalist armed groups, there is no clear timeline or plan to address longstanding demands for self-rule and the protection of cultural identities. • Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the principal protagonist in the struggle for ethnic rights, has been the focus of sustained military offensives. As Myanmar's democratic reform process rumbles on, military offensives continue despite ceasefires between most of the ethno-nationalist rebel armies and the government. Curtis W Lambrecht examines the road to peace in the country.
Author/creator: Curtis W Lambrecht
Language: English
Source/publisher: Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, May 2013,
Format/size: pdf (95K)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2013

Title: War trumps peace in Myanmar
Date of publication: 19 March 2013
Description/subject: "Things are seldom as they seem in Myanmar, a country still little understood by the outside world. On a visit to Europe in early March, Myanmar President Thein Sein - an ex-general turned civilian politician - claimed that ''There's no more fighting in the country, we have been able to end this kind of armed conflict'' between government forces and various ethnic resistance armies. Back at home, the Myanmar army continues its fierce offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the country's far northern region. As KIA representatives and government officials met for yet another round of peace talks in the Chinese border town of Ruili on March 11, more than a hundred trucks carrying reinforcements and heavy equipment were seen entering Kachin State from garrisons in central Myanmar. In Shan State, almost daily skirmishes are reported with the Shan State Army, which has a shaky ceasefire agreement with the authorities. In Karen State, more government troops are taking up new positions in the hills bordering Thailand. The Myanmar government's doublespeak has not dissuaded Western nongovernmental organizations and think tanks from launching various peacemaking initiatives at a time an entirely different foreign power has taken charge of the process: China..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013

Title: Powers Seek Influence in Burma’s Conflict
Date of publication: 18 March 2013
Description/subject: "Burma’s President Thein Sein, while visiting Europe, announced that the government’s fighting against ethnic resistance forces has ended – even as the government moves more troops into the troubled areas. Meanwhile, the United States and China are scrambling for influence by brokering peace to end the ethnic conflicts. Dozens of think tanks and NGOs from the West are attracting donor funds and pouring into the country. “The outcome has been overlapping initiatives, rivalry among organizations – and, more often than not, a lack of understanding by inexperienced ‘peacemakers’ of the conflicts’ root causes,” explains journalist and author Bertil Lintner. China, unhappy with Burma’s embrace of the West, has been actively leading peace talks since January. Lintner points out that China’s Yunnan Province has more than 130,000 ethnic Kachin who sympathize with their fellow Burmese Kachin. Motivations may differ, but China and the US both want the conflicts to end. Burma’s leaders may find it difficult to pursue military solutions, continuing sending troops north, while playing China and the United States off each other..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Yale Global Online -Yale Center for the Study of Globalization
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 March 2013

Date of publication: March 2013
Description/subject: "On 4 February 2013, representatives from the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the Burmese Government’s Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) met in the Chinese Town of Ruili (Shweli). It was the first time the two sides had met since the escalation of the conflict in December 2012. A later meeting, held on 11 March, further solidified the two side’s attempts to find a compromise and end the conflict. It was also the first time that the United Nationalities Federal Council was officially engaged in the peace process on behalf of one of its members. Initial indications suggest that both sides are hopeful that a compromise can be met and an end to the conflict may soon ensue..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 13, March 2013)
Format/size: pdf (94K-OBL version; 153K-original),
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-13.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013

Title: China's Intervention in the Myanmar-Kachin Peace Talks
Date of publication: 20 February 2013
Description/subject: "Peace talks between Myanmar's government and the rebel Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in Ruili, China, on February 4, finally rendered a glimpse of hope after 17 months of bloody conflict. Although the two sides still need more time and further dialogue to reach a peace agreement, major breakthroughs were achieved on key issues such as strengthening communications, easing tensions and holding further talks before the end of February. Peace talks are not unusual for the KIO and the Myanmar government. Since the most recent outbreak of the conflict in 2011, the two sides have engaged in multiple rounds of informal talks, including at least three rounds in Ruili. However, these latest talks set a new precedent because of the central role that China played in the process and signify a major intervention by Beijing that is unique. China was instrumental in arranging the latest round of dialogue between the two parties. Due to the lack of trust between the KIO and the Myanmar government, both preferred a third party location rather than Laiza--headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)--or Naypyidaw. During the talks, China not only provided the venue, but also explicitly guaranteed the security of all participants..."
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Source/publisher: Brookings
Format/size: English
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2013

Date of publication: August 2012
Language: English
Source/publisher: Polaris Burmese Library Collections
Format/size: pdf (98K)
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2012

Title: Joint Statement on current political situation and peace processes by community based organizations from Shan State, Burma June 12, 2012
Date of publication: 12 June 2012
Description/subject: "On June 4 and 5, 2012, about 80 people from various community-based organizations, including women’s, youth, environment, community development, media, health, education, literature and culture groups, migrant workers groups, as well as monks and farmers from Shan State held a forum to discuss the current political situation in Shan State, especially the ongoing peace negotiation process. Key concerns raised by participants about the current situation are as follows: 1. Communities remain in daily fear of the expanding Burma Army, which now numbers over 180 battalions in Shan State, a quarter of their total troop force. The twelfth Burma Army Regional Command has been set up in Shan State since the 2010 election. Despite recent ceasefire agreements, armed clashes continue, and the Burma Army continues to target civilians for abuse with impunity. 2. The 2010 elections, and introduction of “democracy,” have not improved the lives of the people of Shan State, as the 2008 pro-military constitution puts the Burma Army outside the law, and elected representatives have no power to curb the army’s abuses, or to protect the rights of local communities..."
Language: English, Shan, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: 16 Shan community-based groups
Format/size: pdf (English-51K; Burmese-61K; Shan-59K; Thai-89K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Shan%20CS%20joint%20statement%20on%20current%20political%20situa...
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2012

Title: Why ceasefires fail in Myanmar
Date of publication: 18 May 2012
Description/subject: "In northern Myanmar, government troops continue to push into the heartland of the ethnic Kachin armed opposition. Next month, the renewed conflict will mark its first birthday, and while protracted fighting has eased in other areas of the ethnically diverse country, the battle for Kachin State rages on. The limited gains made by government negotiators with at least six ethnic rebel groups over the past year make the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) something of an anomaly. Lower House member of parliament Aung Thaung, whose hawkish persona was seen as ripe for the recalcitrant group, was recently retired from his post as peace broker. More than five high-level meetings with Kachin officials failed to net a result, and as additional battalions are deployed to the frontline, the prospect of a ceasefire anytime soon seems unlikely. The narrative runs that the Kachin distrust the government, which they fear could renege on an agreement and rekindle the conflict at any time. But their reluctance to sign a ceasefire runs deeper; indeed it is their experience with the recent era of "peace" that makes the three-point roadmap demanded by Aung Thaung - entailing a ceasefire and then economic development before cementing a political solution - so objectionable. Among Kachin civilians, the 1994 ceasefire deal was seen to facilitate the rapacious development of the state, which 33 years of insurgency had somewhat stifled. The inflow of investment came with alarming levels of environmental degradation, particularly around areas rich in minerals, timber and hydropower potential. While the abuses associated with fighting lessened, including forced portering and rape, the number of people displaced by the development drive may well have taken a heavier toll than the years of conflict..."
Author/creator: Francis Wade
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2012

Title: Lessons from the Kachin “development” experience (Kachin, English, Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: May 2012
Description/subject: "Burma’s government is using the promise of development as a key component in its current peace negotiations with armed ethnic organizations, proposing ceasefire first, then development, and finally a national political agreement. This process has been tried before in Kachin State with disastrous consequences. This report summarizes findings from seven years of research and demonstrates that the Kachin experience should serve as a warning to other ethnic groups attempting peace through a similar process. Without a political resolution first, there can be no just or sustainable development of Burma..."
Language: English, Kachin, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG)
Format/size: pdf (1MB-English; 770K-Burmese; 873K-Kachin)
Alternate URLs: http://www.kdng.org/publication/236-lessons-from-the-kachin-development-experience.html
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2012

Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: • Despite the 7 November election’s illusory promise of an inclusive democratic system, the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate... • In addition to the ongoing offensives against ethnic non-ceasefire groups, the Tatmadaw increasingly targeted ceasefire groups who rejected the regime’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme... • In Shan and Kachin States, the Tatmadaw broke ceasefire agreements signed in 1989 and 1994 respectively... • Ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire and non-ceasefire groups displaced about 13,000 civilians in Kachin State, at least 700 in Northern Shan State, and forced over 1,800 to flee from Karen State into Thailand... • Civilians bore the brunt of the Tatmadaw’s military operations, which resulted in the death of 15 civilians in Northern Shan State and five in Karen State... Tatmadaw troops gang-raped at least 18 women and girls in Southern Kachin State... • Desertion continues to hit Tatmadaw battalions, including BGF units, engaged in military operations in ethnic areas... • Reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Tatmadaw troops surfaced during offensives against Shan State Army-North forces... • In February, in response to the Tatmadaw’s ongoing attacks in ethnic areas, 12 ethnic armed opposition groups, ceasefire groups, and political organizations agreed to form a new coalition - the Union Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)... • The situation for residents living in conflict zones of ethnic States remains grim as the regime re-launched its ‘four cuts’ policy which targets civilians... • The situation is likely to continue due to Burma’s constitution and the recently enacted laws, including the national conscription law.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (116K)
Date of entry/update: 30 June 2011

Title: Myanmar tilts towards civil war
Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: "Myanmar moved closer to civil war in recent weeks after fighting broke out in Kachin State, a former ceasefire area in the remote northern region. Myanmar's newly elected government now faces ethnic insurgencies on three separate fronts, threatening internal and border security. There is also the potential for more insurgent groups to take up arms and push their claims against the government. The escalating conflict is not going all the military's way and risks further stunting Myanmar's development and international confidence in its supposed democratic transition..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2011

Title: Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma
Date of publication: June 2011
Description/subject: "...The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens a serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed. Over 11,000 refugees have been displaced and dozens of casualties reported during two weeks of fighting between government forces and the KIO. Thousands of troops have been mobilized, bridges destroyed and communications disrupted, bringing hardship to communities across northeast Burma/Myanmar.1 There is now a real potential for ethnic conflict to further spread. In recent months, ceasefires have broken down with Karen and Shan opposition forces, and the ceasefire of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in south Burma is under threat. Tensions between the government and United Wa State Army (UWSA) also continue. It is essential that peace talks are initiated and grievances addressed so that ethnic conflict in Burma does not spiral into a new generation of militarised violence and human rights abuse..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 7, June 2011
Format/size: pdf (407K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2011

Title: The war to come in Myanmar
Date of publication: 04 November 2010
Description/subject: "... From 1989 to 1995, about 15 groups signed ceasefire deals with the government. Some have held up, while others have dissolved back into armed hostility. For the Kachin, the agreement seemingly put an end to more than 30 years of war against government-backed forces... The Kachin have always been an exception in Myanmar's complex ethnic jigsaw. Their state, at 89,000 square kilometers, or more than twice the size of Switzerland, is one the country's largest administrative entities. With an estimated population of just 1.36 million, according to most recent official statistics, it's also among the least inhabited - the country's has a population of up to 55 million people. It only takes a quick look at the map to realize that more than half of Kachin is filled with hard-to-navigate mountains. The predominantly Christian Kachin ethnic population is estimated at 1.2 million, half of whom live in Kachin State and the other half elsewhere in the country. About 300,000 Kachin also live in neighboring China, where they are known as "Jinpo". For historical reasons, the Kachin have managed to develop a strong social and educational system, which has made them one of the country's most sophisticated ethnic groups. Today, 16 years after its signing, their ceasefire agreement with the government has never looked more fragile. Major General Gam Shawng, KIA's chief of staff, sitting in his Laiza home, says unequivocally that "these years have been totally negative. The main idea behind the ceasefire, to reach a political solution, was never achieved."..."
Author/creator: Tony Cliff
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 December 2011

Title: The Kachin's Dilemma: Become a Border Guard Force or return to warfare
Date of publication: July 2010
Description/subject: KIO Ceasefires: chronology, commentary and prognosis
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office
Format/size: pdf (636K)
Alternate URLs: http://euro-burma.eu/doc/EBO_Analysis_Paper_No_2_2010_-_The_Kachin%27s_Dilemma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 February 2012

Title: Disquiet on the Northern Front
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: The uneasy peace in Kachin State is under constant pressure, as the Burmese junta's border guard force scheme meets continued resistance
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010

Title: A Fragile Peace
Date of publication: February 2010
Description/subject: The Kachin negotiate with the regime on the border guard force issue, while recruiting and training more soldiers... "At the traditional Manau dance this year—held in Myitkyina, the capital of Burma’s northern Kachin State—Kachin soldiers were not allowed to dance in military uniforms. Earlier, the Burmese regime sent three members of the notorious Press Scrutiny and Registration Division to censor stories in the Kachin language newspaper that published articles about the festival, held annually on Kachin State Day, Jan. 10. To show their unhappiness, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which signed a cease-fire agreement with the junta in 1994, sent only 200 soldiers to the festival. Last year, about 2,000 KIA personnel joined the festivities..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 2
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17702
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010

Title: A Rocky Road
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Kachin State's growing ethnic and environmental troubles... "In recent years, many political analysts in Burma and abroad have predicted growing strife in the country’s troubled ethnic regions, warning that ceasefire agreements with the ruling junta would not guarantee lasting peace. The current instability in Burma’s Kachin State bears these warnings out..."
Author/creator: Khun Sam
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006