Home Contact Us  
   

Myanmar - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4171, 11 November 2013
 
Myanmar: Kachin State and the State of Peace
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Research Officer, SEARP, IPCS
Email: aparupa@ipcs.org
 

The ongoing clash in southern Kachin state has questioned the success of the new peace deal that was signed between the Myanmarese government and Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). The peace deal, which was signed in October 2013, was expected to bring a ceasefire. However, the ceasefire agreement was not attained and the conflict still persists. The latest peace deal was preceded by a similar peace accord in the same year between the two parties. Nevertheless, no major initiatives have been taken in order to stop the violence and improve the plight of the civilians who have been regularly victimised during these clashes. 
 
What are the pros and cons of the latest peace deal signed? Should the government be blamed for the lack of success of all the peace deals?

The Peace Deal: Expectations and Outcomes
After three days of negotiations, a preliminary peace agreement was signed on 10 October 2013 in Myitkyina – the government administered capital in Kachin region. Both the parties have agreed upon several terms that include attainment of peace in the region, establishing a joint monitoring committee to observe the ceasefire as well as to work towards the resettlement of thousands of people who have been displaced during the clashes in the region. While the accord mainly emphasises the reduction of hostilities and lays the ground for a political dialogue, a ceasefire agreement is yet to be reached between the parties. They have both claimed that a formal ceasefire agreement is in the pipeline. Additionally, the new agreement is based upon a seven-point deal that was decided between the government and the KIO during their previous meeting held in May 2013. In order to form a ceasefire monitoring committee, a set of five basic policies and 18 rules have been recommended by the negotiators. Furthermore, several pilot projects have been planned for four villages for the resettlement of the displaced people. Thus, the only positive aspect of this recent peace deal is that it has at least laid a foundation for the formation of a ceasefire monitoring committee.

The biggest criticism that the deal has invited is that the accord has had no substantial achievements.  It basically reiterates similar points that were agreed upon during the May 2013 peace deal. Moreover no concrete plans were chalked out in order to attain peace in the region, which was supposed to be the main focus. According to the deal, the roads connecting this region to the rest of the country would be reopened; however, no such measure has been implemented till date. Establishing a joint monitoring committee will not be an easy task until both the government and the KIO stop blaming the other instead of working together towards establishing peace.

Who is to Blame?
The deal is part of the government plan to achieve a comprehensive ceasefire with all the armed ethnic rebel groups and end decades of confrontation; essential for the development and growth of Myanmar as a democratic nation. The government has already signed a ceasefire agreement with most of the ethnic armed groups except for some, including the KIO. The KIO have been fighting the government for greater autonomy and ethnic rights in Kachin since 2011. Although peace talks with this group were initiated in 2011, no success could be achieved due to conflict between the negotiators. Furthermore, although the KIO has been insisting on a peace dialogue, government representatives have placed a ceasefire agreement as a precondition for the peace dialogue. It seems that the government is in a rush to achieve its plan of achieving immediate nationwide ceasefire agreements prior to the 2015 election. Interestingly, the government, in its hastiness to attain the peace plan within a time frame, has been granting business licenses and concessions to these leaders. Thus, prolonging the ceasefire agreement benefits armed group leaders who are allegedly more concerned about their personal gains rather than the cause for which they have been fighting for.

In the meantime, the KIO’s plans to host separate meetings with other armed ethnic groups in order to discuss a roadmap in dealing with the government authorities in itself indicates the degree of mistrust that exists among KIO activists towards the government. The seeds of mistrust were sowed after the failure of a 17-year old ceasefire agreement that led to clashes in 2011. Apart from the political aspect, the peace deal is also essential to gain overall economic benefit. The Kachin region is rich in mineral resources, and there are several ongoing economic projects on dams, oilfields and gas pipelines, involving international and transnational actors. The protection of business projects is a reason for the deployment of additional military force in the region who, in the name of protection, use force and commit extensive human rights abuses. Victimisation of the local population further ignites confrontation between the rebel group and the military. However, the government cannot be blamed alone; it is important that the government and the KIO work together towards peace in the region. However, the recent clashes have definitely delayed the process and increased the level of mistrust between these two groups.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
Aparupa Bhattacherjee,
"China, Myanmar, and the Myitsone Dam: Uncertain Future," 31 January 2014
Nayantara Shaunik,
"The Kachin and Rohingya Conflicts in Myanmar," 25 June 2013
Janani Govindankutty,
"Myanmar: Print Media Analysis of the Rohingya Unrest," 5 April 2013
Janani Govindankutty,
"Special Commentary: Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflicts (A Brief Update)," 2 March 2013

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
India in Myanmar: Strengthening the Economic Commons

Myanmar: Is Tatmadaw Assuming a Proactive Role?

Southeast Asia: Elections, Instability and Reconciliation

Thailand & Cambodia: End of Clashes over Preah Vihear?

Malaysia: A Comeback for Barisan Nasional?

Malaysia: MoU with Bangladesh on Manpower Export

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.