Despite the military junta’s imprisonment of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, USIP’s Billy Ford says there’s an opening for more inclusive narratives within the resistance movement — and if the movement can “unify around those [narratives] … it could come together and potentially defeat this regime.”

U.S. Institute of Peace experts discuss the latest foreign policy issues from around the world in On Peace, a brief weekly collaboration with SiriusXM's POTUS Channel 124.

Related Publications

Myanmar’s Rakhine State: Parties Split, Rebels Rise, and the Junta Schemes

Myanmar’s Rakhine State: Parties Split, Rebels Rise, and the Junta Schemes

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

By: Kyaw Hsan Hlaing

Myanmar’s military regime has a plan for trying to establish its governing legitimacy next year: In August of 2023, the dictatorship, which overthrew a democratically elected government in early 2021, intends to hold sham elections. A critical piece of this strategy involves maneuvering Myanmar’s welter of small ethnic parties into taking part in the electoral process. Nowhere are the risks and uncertainties inherent in the generals’ plan more evident than in poor but economically strategic Rakhine State on Myanmar’s western border with Bangladesh and India.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Why Myanmar’s Desperate Generals Executed Prominent Pro-Democracy Figures

Why Myanmar’s Desperate Generals Executed Prominent Pro-Democracy Figures

Thursday, July 28, 2022

By: Priscilla A. Clapp;  Billy Ford;  Jason Tower

From virtually the moment Myanmar’s military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government last year, the generals have faced a popular uprising that they met with escalating brutality. Even so, their decision last week to put to death — by hanging — four high-profile democracy advocates sparked shock and outrage at home and around the world. USIP’s Jason Tower, Priscilla Clapp and Billy Ford discuss what is behind the coup regime’s bloody move and its implications for Myanmar and international efforts to bring peace and democracy to the Southeast Asian country.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

In Myanmar’s Rakhine State, a Fraying Truce May Hold Key to Anti-Regime Fight

In Myanmar’s Rakhine State, a Fraying Truce May Hold Key to Anti-Regime Fight

Thursday, July 21, 2022

By: Kyaw Hsan Hlaing

Myanmar has been crippled by growing political turmoil and militant resistance since the army overthrew the elected civilian government on February 1, 2021. Today, most of the country is engulfed in a virtual civil war. In Rakhine State, however, home to one of Myanmar's most powerful ethnic armed organizations, a tenuous peace still prevails under a cease-fire reached with the pre-coup military in 2020. At the time, the truce benefited both the military and its adversary, the Arakan Army. Now, under the pressures unleashed by the military’s power grab, that deal is fraying. Should it collapse, the coup regime will face a vastly strengthened insurgency. The people of Rakhine, collaterally, will all but certainly suffer brutal counterstrikes from the air force and artillery of a military untroubled by its record of war crimes.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

China Bets Strategic Projects, Regional Stability on Myanmar Coup Regime

China Bets Strategic Projects, Regional Stability on Myanmar Coup Regime

Thursday, July 14, 2022

By: Jason Tower

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Myanmar last week was the first by a senior Beijing official since a military coup toppled Myanmar’s elected government in February 2021. Its ostensible purpose was to co-chair the foreign ministers meeting of a Chinese-led subregional framework known as the Lancang Mekong Cooperation Forum. Its deeper — though related — significance was to deliver a crystal-clear message on the conflict raging in Myanmar: China has chosen to bolster Myanmar’s military in its fight against a rapidly growing popular resistance movement and will support the junta’s position within key multilateral platforms.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionEconomics

View All Publications