Military


The chief of the United Nations has officially called on the Burmese government to conduct full investigations into allegations of rape and sexual assault made against its soldiers, according to a document made public this week.
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The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) says it launched two attacks on Burmese government forces on Wednesday in northern Shan State, killing at least 10 government soldiers.
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The US Embassy in Burma says it will seriously consider any request from the Burmese government and ethnic minority groups to support ongoing dialogue as part of the country’s peace process, after an ethnic army leader recently called for greater US involvement.
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Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s armed forces, or Tatmadaw, is a man on the move. Since the beginning of the year he has traveled to Laos and Indonesia, attended large-scale war games in central Myanmar, reviewed the country’s largest ever naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, presided over the annual Army Day parade in the capital Naypyidaw and met with a string of foreign dignitaries.
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The Burmese government has blamed troops from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) for an escalation of hostilities that has displaced thousands of civilians this month in Kachin State, amid claims by rebel leaders that government forces have repeatedly been the first to attack.
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A coalition of 12 ethnic groups, the United Nationalities Federal Council, has begun a two-day meeting to discuss negotiations between the government and armed ethnic rebel groups on a nationwide ceasefire.
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A leader of ethnic Kachin rebels battling government forces in Myanmar has urged the U.S. to play a role in peace talks to quell decades of conflict in the country’s lawless border regions.
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Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, has been the dominant institution in the country for most of its post-independence history. After decades of military rule, it began the shift to a semi-civilian government. A new generation of leaders in the military and in government pushed the transition far further and much faster than anyone could have imagined. Major questions remain, however, about the Tatmadaw’s intentions, its ongoing involvement in politics and the economy, and whether and within what timeframe it will accept to be brought under civilian control. Transforming from an all-powerful military to one that accepts democratic constraints on its power will be an enormous challenge.
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Fighting between government troops and ethnic rebels in Myanmar’s northeastern state of Kachin has left at least 22 people dead this month, state-run media reported Sunday.
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A week of fighting between Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) forces and Burmese Army troops has left more than 5,000 people displaced in eastern Kachin and neighboring Shan states, according to an aid group involved in relief efforts there.
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A water convolvulus field on the corner of Wai Zayan Tar Road and Gandamar St, Mayangone Township, Yangon was the site of a press conference held on April 20 to represent 28 farmers and their 109 employees who had received an eviction notice with an April 22 deadline from the Tatmyo Development Affairs Committee. Farmers spokesperson, U Myint Oo said that they “will appeal to the development committee not to remove us”, from the land they farm.
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Recent Clashes, Long War
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The Myanmar military has launched multiple offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on April 10, with fighting continuing over the Thingyan new year holidays.
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A coalition of aid and relief groups working in Kachin State issued a statement on Monday warning that more than 3,000 civilians have been displaced by fighting in the southeast part of the state, which remains ongoing.
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A four-day meeting between leaders of Burma’s ethnic armed groups and government peace negotiators concluded in Rangoon on Tuesday with the two sides announcing that they agreed “in principle” on a draft of a long-awaited nationwide ceasefire agreement. However, key parts of the wording of the elusive single draft agreement still had not been agreed upon.
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The United Wa State Party, which controls the country’s largest ethnic army, will soon decide whether to participate in nationwide ceasefire talks along with other armed ethnic groups, a spokesperson said.
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Over 300 people who fled Shan State’s Palaung Self-Administered Zone have been provided relief by sympathisers from Lashio.
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Two ethnic based organisations have been advocating for the release of 33 men and women who were forcefully recruited by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
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As Gen. Gun Maw, the deputy chief of staff for the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), meets this week with his Burmese counterparts in Rangoon as part of a joint meeting with the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), his subordinates stationed at Ban Du Kawng post near Mai Ja Yang, the KIO’s second-largest town, will keep a watchful eye on the Burma Army post on the next hilltop.
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Magway Township Court has sentenced Democratic Voice of Burma reporter Thura Thet Tin, aka Zaw Pe, and a parent Win Myint Hlaing for one year in jail on April 7 for trespassing, obstructing officials on duty and conspiracy to do so, according to local sources.
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