Rakhine stateState of Rakhine
Rakhine state crisis and Myanmar's other serious problems
In Rakhine state, where Myanmar's troops have been trustworthy charged with ethnical purge and where Myanmar's army has recently acknowledged that the police were part of a massive slaughter that a group of Rohingya abandoned in a collective tomb, there is no sign of a solution.
Many Rohingya are unlikely to volunteer to go back to Myanmar, where they are deprived of their liberties, have few citizenship and face a conflict in the state of Rakhine, where many of their cities have been burnt to the ground. A Rohingya group of militants is using the Rohingya's possible rage and continuing to attack Myanmar, making the Rakhine frontier and state even more difficult.
In Rakhine state - and in the Bangladesh refugee camp - the most serious human rights problem in East Asia. At the same while Myanmar is confronting several other loose cannons. They show that Naypyidaw's military/civilian regime is failed not only in West Burma, but also in other parts of the state.
For example, in Kachin State in the northern part of the country, an outstanding new IRIN News report describes how the long-standing dispute in the area has intensified during this drought, while Aung San Suu Kyi's peaceful talks with indigenous minorities have not yielded tangible results in the Kachin state war. Indeed, the army seems to be fighting harder in Kachin State than it did a few years ago.
IRIN News reported that more than a hundred thousand refugees have been evicted in Kachin State and North Shan State, and relief agencies have little contact with many of these afflicted souls. Right-wing groups say governments' limitations have bruised humane entry into a rivulet and ten thousand IDPs[ in Kachin and Shan states] are trapped without help in the crosshair between the army and insurgent groups.
The Shan state is also experiencing renewed violent outbreaks, indicating a breakdown in Suu Kyi's roadmap for achieving this. As Anthony Davis writes in the Asia Times, the drought in Shan State, where rebel groups are becoming more courageous and the most violent insurrection is uncontrolled, could destroy Suu Kyi's roadmap outright.
This year, " he says, a government-sponsored peacemaking operation that has been stalling for month could come to a standstill". Davis observes that small rebel groups like the Paluang have won and become more violent in recent years, and the number of groups battling in parts of Shan State has increased.
With the proliferation of more gunmen in Shan State, some of these troops are likely to fight each other during this drought - and Myanmar's army will also launch a major attack in Shan State. Meanwhile, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), a heavy armoured rebel group with over twenty thousand combatants (and traditionally associated with the narcosis trade), is roaming free in parts of the Shan state it control.
UWSA has largely despised the government's effort for peacemaking and has progressively assisted and armored other rebel groups in north-eastern Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi's administration seems to have no long-term plans for dealing with the UWSA; the rebel group has operated its own sovereign state in northeastern Myanmar for many years.
There is little the UWSA can afford to provide to disarm the core force and embrace it, and Myanmar's army is reluctant to take over the UWSA directly. The Rakhine State is certainly a disaster. However, in other parts of Myanmar too, the regime and the army are facing major problems for which they seem to have no response.