The Problem in Burma
Ethnic Groups against the Government
The fighting in Burma / Myanmar is one of the longest running civil wars in history, starting from British independence in 1948 and contuniting into the present.
In April 2015, the Burmese government signed a ceasefire with 16 of the 17 armed ethnic groups, the only group excluded being the Shan State.
The Shan State
The ethnic group Kokang, native to the Shan state of Myanmar, has become a rebel group fighting the Burmese government. The Shan state is a border region to China, and in the past month over 50,000 refugees have fled from Myanmar into China.
The main opponents of this fight are the Shan state rebels the Kokang and the Burmese government.
China is also involved in this fight, since there are thousands of Burmese citizens fleeing from Myanmar to China. The Shan state is on the border of Myanmar and China, and China has so far been reluctant to step up.
The system of warfare is mostly a guerrilla war, but the Myanmar army has resorted to awful tactics that include attacking villages at night and accompanying these attacks with rapes, beatings and/or massacres.
The cause of the war was to regain land lost in a 2009 conflict with the Kokang and the Burmese government. The Kokang claim that the Shan State has been ignored and plundered by the Burmese government ever since they came to power, and the Kokang wish to put an end to this unfair treatment. Their goal is to achieve more local autonomy
What effort has been made towards a solution? The Burmese government attempted to make a nation wide peace treaty and cease fire with all of the country's armed ethnic groups. Unforunately, the Kokang did not sign this agreement, and this fighting could possibly lead to the derailment of the cease fire with the other ethnic groups of Myanmar.
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"Myanmar Border Conflict Tests China." Voice of America. N.p., 20 Feb. 2015. Web. 05 May 2015. <http://www.voanews.com/content/myanmar-border-conflict-tests-china/2651526.html>.
"Myanmar Kokang Rebels 'kill Dozens' of Soldiers." Al Jazeera English. N.p., 14 Feb. 2015. Web. 05 May 2015. <http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/myanmar-kokang-rebels-kill-dozens-soldiers-150213072401121.html>.
"Myanmar Army Commits Rapes, Beatings, Killings of Kokang People: Refugees." Radio Free Asia. N.p., 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 05 May 2015. <http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/myanmar-kokang-03252015123347.html>.
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"Crisis Crossing Borders - Unrest in Myanmar's Kokang Region | Asia | DW.DE | 19.02.2015." DW.DE. N.p., 19 Feb. 2015. Web. 05 May 2015. <http://www.dw.de/crisis-crossing-borders-unrest-in-myanmars-kokang-region/a-18269086>.