Looking past the November 2020 elections, Myanmar’s efforts to end the decades-long civil wars remain stalled. Armed conflict between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Tatmadaw in Rakhine State has escalated sharply over the past two years, though an unofficial cease-fire in Rakhine and reports of talks between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army offer a flicker of hope. Peace between the AA and Tatmadaw would bring an end to years of violence experienced by communities across Rakhine State. It is of added importance because it is a prerequisite to achieve progress toward a safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

On December 10, USIP hosted a launch event of two publications—"Why Burma’s Peace Efforts have Failed to End its Internal Wars” and “The Arakan Army in Myanmar: Deadly Conflict Rises in Rakhine State”—which explore the implications of the deadly conflict in Rakhine State, as well as possible new directions for ending Myanmar’s internal wars. The authors of the reports joined leading peace practitioners for a conversation on how Myanmar might potentially reset efforts to address violent conflict.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #USIPRakhine.


David Mathieson
Independent Analyst

Ying Lao
Deputy Director, Salween Institute

Bertil Lintner
Correspondent, Asia Times

May Oo Mutraw
Co-Founder, Going Home Where We Belong Program

Jason Tower, moderator
Country Director, Burma Program, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Related Publications

U.S.-ASEAN Summit: A Chance to Explore New Steps to Resolve Myanmar’s Conflict

U.S.-ASEAN Summit: A Chance to Explore New Steps to Resolve Myanmar’s Conflict

Thursday, May 12, 2022

By: Priscilla A. Clapp;  Jason Tower

The February 2021 coup in Myanmar, which overthrew an elected government and installed a brutal military dictatorship, has posed an enormous challenge to the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN). The group has split on what — if any — action to take regarding the coup. Meanwhile, the military’s unbridled violence against the country’s citizens failed to suppress an increasingly militarized opposition and the conflict now affects ASEAN states bordering Myanmar and those beyond. As the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit gets underway this week in Washington, Myanmar will not be present, a symbol that the organization — as a whole— does not accept the coup government’s legitimacy. What’s next remains to be seen.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyDemocracy & Governance

Over a Year Later, Myanmar’s Military Coup Threatens India’s National Security

Over a Year Later, Myanmar’s Military Coup Threatens India’s National Security

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

By: Saket Ambarkhane;  Sanjay Valentine Gathia

The conflict in Myanmar triggered by the February 1, 2021, military coup that toppled the democratically elected government has not only become a disaster for Myanmar, but also for countries across the region. China’s response has received considerable international attention, as has the struggle within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to forge a resolution to the conflict. The impact on Myanmar’s western neighbors, however, has largely gone unexamined — with the exception of analysis of the consequences for Rohingya refugees, who are indefinitely stranded in Bangladesh with no chance of safely returning to Myanmar under this military regime.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionEconomics

View All Publications