The Civil War in Myanmar 2023 Conflict Diagnostic

March 6th, 2023  •  Author:   Carleton University  •  2 minute read
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The current conflict in Myanmar began with the 2021 coup d’état. The conflict between the ruling junta and pro-democracry movement has accelerated environmental degradation and hurt Myanmar’s economic standing. Demographic stress has also worsened both from the junta’s lack of attention to urban infrastructure and its targeting of rural villages, increasing the number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The return to military rule has caused a worsening trend for most indicators used to determine the degree of conflict. This diagnostic uses the methodology created by the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy to establish possible short-term scenarios based on indicators of conflict determining trend lines and degree of risk. The military coup has destabilized the country which has resulted in a return to military rule causing a worsening conflict trend and making any peaceful settlement unlikely in the near future.

BACKGROUND

Myanmar gained independence from Britain in 1948 as a parliamentary democracy. A 1964 coup led by the military (the Tatmadaw) installed a military junta and gave the Tatmadaw sweeping constitutional, political, and economic power. The Tatmadaw officially handed power over to a civilian government in 2011, but the Tatmadaw retained significant political power and autonomy under the new civilian government. Following the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) victory in the elections of 2021, the military again executed a coup and established the State Administration Council (SAC) as Myanmar’s government. In May 2021, the ousted National Unity Government (NUG) declared the creation of a People’s Defence Force, igniting the current conflict in Myanmar. Currently, the NUG is the largest coalition of opposition forces to the junta and are the main group in conflict with them. The 2021 coup has caused heightened violence between other opposition forces and the junta and has exacerbated the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya in the Rakhine State. There is currently no meaningful international intervention as Western nations do not perceive gains to be had from intervening.


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