My latest paper on the Kachin based Arakan Army in available here.
On 29 March 2015, fighting broke out between the Arakan Army’s (AA) Tactical Unit No. 5 and Myanmar Army Infantry Battalion No. 289 in one of the first major attacks for the AA outside of Kachin State where they are largely based. The attack, on the ethnic Chin village of Pyin So, Paletwa Township, Chin State, forced hundreds of villagers to flee. According to one villager, speaking to the Chin Human Rights Organisation, the fighting had occurred because Government soldiers stationed in the village had captured an Arakan Army soldier, three days before the clash.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Nyo Tun Aung, AA deputy commander-in-chief, said in a Narinjara interview that two bodies – a captain and a private, both from the Burma Army – were recovered, and that they arrested two Myanmar Army soldiers. In addition, the AA seized a 45mm pistol, two MA-1 machine guns, one MA-3 machine gun, several bullets, and military equipment. He also noted that because the government has been increasing the number of Burma Army soldiers in the area there is likely to be further fighting.
My new Background Paper for the Euro Burma Office is now available via their website here.
The National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Khaplang (NSCN-K)
On 4 June 2015, a coalition of separatist rebels ambushed a convoy of Indian troops, from the sixth Dogra Regiment, in the country’s northeastern state of Manipur killing at least 18 soldiers and seriously injuring twelve others.
The soldiers were on patrol when they came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles, and machine guns. The attack marks a further escalation of the conflict against the Indian army in the country’s northeast. Indian intelligence stated it suspected the involvement of the Myanmar based National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Khaplang (NSCN-K) and the United National Liberation Front, a Manipuri rebel group, in the joint attack. Shortly after, a press release from the NSCN-K stated that an elite unit of its guerrillas and those from its Manipuri allies, KYKL and KCP, had carried out the attack to uphold the cause of their sovereignty.
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By Force of Arms has now been updated and is available from Vij Books or Amazon.
“Paul Keenan’s new book, By Force of Arms: Armed Ethnic Groups in Burma, is a remarkable compendium of data and analysis that begins to explain the intractable conflicts in and around the modern state of Burma. Keenan’s book is a tour-de-force in providing a comprehensive, scholarly description of the ethnic/indigenous forces that are fighting for their self-determination. In twenty-five years of teaching indigenous peoples’ politics and international relations, I have not found a more useful tool in teaching about conflict in this region. I am currently using this book in my courses, and I recommend it with enthusiasm.”
Professor Glenn T. Morris
Department of Political Science
Director, Fourth World Center for the Study of Indigenous Law and Politics, University of Colorado at Denver
You are cordially invited to the book launch of
‘By Force of Arms – Armed Ethnic Groups in Burma’
By Paul Keenan
With a Foreword by Professor Kjell-Ake Nordquist
and an Introduction by Lian H. Sakhong
(University Academic Service Centre)
239 Nimmenhemin Road, Suthep,
Muang Chiang Mai, 50200
On Tuesday, 4 December 2012 10.00 – 12.00
(Refreshments will be provided)
Two new briefing papers for the Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies, Peace and Reconciliation are now available in the writing section.