In February 2021, Burma erased 10 years of progress toward political reform after the military took power in a coup. Since the coup, the military has created an environment of constant chaos and terror, killing scores of protesters, and waging a war against the Burmese people, who refuse to be subjected once again to brutal military rule. Since 2012, the U.S. Institute of Peace has worked with communities in Burma to curb intercommunal tensions and violence and support stakeholders looking to end decades of civil war and oppression. In addition, USIP’s Burma program provides timely research and analysis on conflict dynamics in Burma for practitioners, policymakers and observers in Burma and abroad.

Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in Burma.

Download the March 1, 2022, Request for Proposal for External Evaluation of USIP's Inter-Communal Harmony Program in Myanmar.

Featured   Publications

Understanding the People’s Defense Forces in Myanmar

Understanding the People’s Defense Forces in Myanmar

Thursday, November 3, 2022

By: Ye Myo Hein

When the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) first coalesced in Myanmar in 2021, many viewed them as hastily organized groups of young vigilantes who would be quickly overrun by the junta’s military force, known as the Sit-Tat. Instead, the PDFs have grown in size, organization and capability over the last year and half, and now pose a major threat to the junta’s viability. Though they lack heavy equipment, an advanced command structure and international support, the proliferating PDFs have demonstrated remarkable tactical ingenuity and resilience. If they improve their command structure and weaponry, they could help expand territory under resistance control and hasten the junta’s demise.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

In Myanmar, Sham Elections Aren’t the Path to Stability

In Myanmar, Sham Elections Aren’t the Path to Stability

Thursday, October 27, 2022

By: Priscilla A. Clapp;  Ye Myo Hein

The head of Myanmar’s military junta is talking increasingly about holding national elections next year despite the near certainty that prevailing conditions would make a democratic result impossible. Even if General Min Aung Hlaing was pondering a good-faith effort — which he is not — the country’s political and security situation would likely preclude anything more than a fig leaf outcome. So, the dictator is still mulling whether elections would benefit the regime. Meanwhile, he is laying the groundwork for a sham process to make himself president and cement military rule. Though the nature of these schemes should be obvious to the international community, many view the proposed vote as the most realistic path to stability and democratically elected government. That hope is badly misplaced.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

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Current   Projects

Why All the Coups?

Why All the Coups?

Ahead of the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy, the U.S. Institute of Peace is convening a multi-part conversation about the dynamics driving four of the seven coups and coup attempts since the onset of the pandemic.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines

Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines

In recent years, peace processes — such as the track 2 intra-Afghan negotiations — have shown that on both a moral and practical level, women’s inclusion is essential. Women’s involvement in peace processes increases their likelihood of success and longevity and can increase legitimacy. While more literature on women contributing to mediation and negotiation efforts is slowly being produced, little attention is currently being paid to the already existing work of women who employ their faith and mobilize religious resources for peacebuilding.

GenderReligion

Myanmar Study Group

Myanmar Study Group

In March 2021, the U.S. Institute of Peace organized the Myanmar Study Group in response to the evolving crisis in Myanmar following the military coup a month prior. To support U.S. policy towards Myanmar, USIP convened a group of 9 prominent experts for a series of discussions about the dynamic context within the country and U.S. government policy options.

Civilian-Military RelationsConflict Analysis & PreventionReconciliation

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