Conflict Since 1948: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar


The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in South east Asia located west of Thailand. Currently the country has held it’s first election where a new government will actually have the opportunity to be elected ( While this is progress towards stability and peace for the country it’s past is filled with conflict.

After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 the first government faced conflict with mainly communist rebels and an ethnic group the Karen National Union. In 1962 a military coup led by General Ne Win took control of the government and ended the country’s parliamentary rule. Ne Win ruled for 26 years, during which many conflicts with rebels took place.


General Ne Win.

IN 1988 another military coup took place. The uprising was mainly political and many ethnic fighting groups such as the Karen National Union received no support from the new government. The most recent conflict was in early 2015 between the Myanmar Army and a rebel group the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. In mid October an official cease-fire was signed between the government and many rebel groups ( The cease-fire agreement was faced with much scrutiny as many of the rebel groups signing the agreement had stopped fighting for a long period of time and others claimed a cease-fire three weeks before elections was simply a political ploy (


Signing the cease-fire.


4 thoughts on “Conflict Since 1948: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar

  1. Interesting post! The topic of Myanmar’s “Nationwide Cease-fire Agreement” between the government and the country’s eight ethnic groups aligns well with what we are learning in class. In particular, the fact that Myanmar’s two most powerful ethnic groups with the country’s largest militias, the Kachin and the Wa, did not sign the agreement is indicative of our understanding of why some peace agreements are not successful – due to low costs for non-compliance, as well as the relative absence of ‘monitoring’ and ‘side payments’. Remember, according to Werner and Yuen peace agreements fail when there is more of an incentive and benefit to begin fighting once again, and that peace agreements are far more sustainable when the terms of a treaty reflect the actual strategic outcome of a conflict.


  2. I think it is great that the country is making a turn around, I just wonder if the peace agreement will be a lasting one. Yes they are making steps in the right direction but I am skeptical that things will go back to how they once were. Hopefully there is enough incentive to keep things together.


  3. Thank you for the post introducing the Myanmar! I think other key person in establishing the modern Myanmar is Mr.Aung San, whose daughter is Aung San Suu Kyi, famous politician and the leader of National League Democracy. It seems that there are still problems in the governance of Myanmar because the regime is regarded as Authoritarian system ruled by the military. However, the economy in Myanmar has recently been growing and I hope that democracy will spread and development in many fields, like education and infrastructure, will improve the situations in Myanmar.


  4. Thank you for your post. However, I have few questions about the crisis in Myanmar. I believe there must be some reasons and some kind of trigger that several coup occurred in this country. Information of how crisis occurred and how many rebel groups agreed on one purpose. Also, I believe there might be some rebel groups that have different opinion after the crisis.


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