Official Full Name: Union of Myanmar

Region: Southeast Asia

Capital: Naypyidaw

Population: 56,320,206

Ethnic Groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%

Languages: Burmese (official)

Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, Animist 1%, other 2%

Government: Presidential Republic

Legislature: Assembly of the Union


A. Internal Conflict in Myanmar

Type of Conflict: Ethnic, Multiparty Civil War

Conventionally Dated Period: 4 January 1948 – Present

Parties Involved:

  • Government of Myanmar
  • Anti-Government Factions including Karen National Union, Mujahideen, Communist Party, Shan State Army, etc.


Myanmar, also known colloquially as Burma, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.  After gaining independence from Great Britain in 1948, there have been three successive parliamentary governments that unsuccessfully ruled until a coup d’etat by General Ne Win finally consolidated power with an iron fist.

Since then, there have been sporadic uprisings from large minorities such as the Karen and the Shan people and even civil wars between the minority factions.  Several attempts to quell rebellions and restore stability have failed due to the decentralized nature of the state.  Devolving power and granting autonomy often saw even more rebellions.

In April 2015, a finalized draft of a state-wide peace agreement has been presented and is seen as gearing towards the end of the long and tumultuous civil war.

Peace Progress: Yes, peace agreement drafted.