MIPS report says inter-ethnic fighting fiercer than fighting with Tatmadaw

03 April 2019
MIPS report says inter-ethnic fighting fiercer than fighting with Tatmadaw
A group of camouflaged SSA (Shan State Army) guerrillas on patrol near the rebel jungle stronghold of Doi Tailang in Myanmar's Shan state. Photo: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Myanmar Institute for Peace and Security (MIPS) which consistently monitor ethnic affairs and conflicts released a report which says that in 2018 fighting among ethnic armed groups was found to be fiercer than fighting with the Tatmadaw (government defence services).

This report says that the institute collected data by meeting with local armed groups and local people last year and found that northern Shan State was the focal point of all conflicts and ethnic armed groups in Shan State were found to be fighting among themselves.

MIPS executive director Dr. Min Zaw Oo said, “In consideration of the armed conflicts in Myanmar, we can hope for peace only if we can resolve the conflicts among ethnic armed forces, not only fighting with the Tatmadaw.”

He was speaking at the MIPS ‘2018 Peace and Security Analysis Report’ release ceremony at Melia Hotel in Yangon on April 2.

There are ethnic armed organizations of RCSS, SSPP, TNLA, MNDAA etc. in Shan State and  among them TNLA and SSPP are frequently fighting with RCSS which is the signatory of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and most of these clashes were over territory.

Because of these fighting in 2018 in Shan State, over 12,000 people reportedly had to flee from their homes and there were over 7,000 IDPs in Shan State because of inter-ethnic armed conflicts.

In 2018, a total of 490 clashes were fought in 50 townships across the country, out of which 367 were with the Tatmadaw and 93 were inter-ethnic armed group fighting, plus 30 involved other types of  fighting.

Most incidents of the fighting were fought in northern Shan State and the highest incidents of fighting were found in Namtu, Kutkai, Hpapon, Phakant and Tanai.