Programme Paper

Project: Asia Programme

Marie Lall
  • With preparations for the 2010 elections underway, there is a need for a renewed focus on the complex political and ethnic divisions within Burma.
  • Despite on-going conflicts, 18 armed ceasefires have been agreed. The ceasefires have allowed for improvements but have created new problems in Burma's border areas. However, these agreements serve as potential models for wider peace agreements and reconciliation.
  • The Tatmadaw (the Burmese military) is trying to force ethnic minority militias to become a border guard force prior to the 2010 elections. This is being resisted by a number of ethnic militia groups such as the Kachin and the Wa. However any further break down of these ceasefire agreements will bring renewed instability to Burma.
  • Involvement and pressure from Burma's allies and critics have had little noticeable effect on conflict resolution as the drivers of the ethnic conflict are ultimately internal.