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Border Guard Forces (all states)
The armed groups which agreed ceasefires in the late '80s and the '90s but kept their arms and armies, are being asked by the SPDC to integrate their forces into the Burma Army as "Border Guard Forces". Some have agreed, but the larger ones have not.

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "BurmaNet News": Search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Burma News International: search results for "border guard force"
Description/subject: 53 results, April 2010
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma News International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: BurmaNewsGroup: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma News Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Democratic Voice of Burma: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Google: search results for "border guard force" burma myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: IMNA: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Kachin News: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 July 2010


Title: Kao Wao News: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kao Wao News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Mizzima: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: SHAN: search results for "border guard force"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: The Irrawaddy: search results for "border guard force"
Description/subject: 183 results (April 2010)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Individual Documents

Title: THE BORDER GUARD FORCE - The Need to Reassess the Policy
Date of publication: 27 July 2013
Description/subject: "The implementation of the Border Guard Force (BGF) program in 2009 was an attempt to neutralise armed ethnic ceasefire groups and consolidate the Burma Army’s control over all military units in the country. The programme was instituted after the 2008 constitution which stated that ‘All the armed forces in the Union shall be under the command of the Defence Services’. As a result the government decided to transform all ethnic ceasefire groups into what became known as Border Guard Forces (BGF). Consequently, this was used to pressure armed ethnic groups that had reached a ceasefire with the government to either allow direct Burma Army control of their military or face an offensive. The BGF and, where there was no border, the Home Guard Force (HGF), had been seen as an easy alternative to fighting armed ceasefire groups. While a number of ceasefire groups including the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) refused to take part in the program, other groups accepted the offer including the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), National Democratic Army – Kachin (NDA-K), Kachin Defence Army (KDA), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Karenni National People’s Liberation Front (KNPLF) and the Lahu Democratic Front (LDF). Many of these BGF units, especially in Karen State, have carved out small fiefdoms for themselves and along with a variety of local militias continue to place a great burden on the local population. There are consistent reports of human rights abuses by BGF units and a number have been involved in the narcotics trade. While the BGF battalion program had originally been designed to solve the ceasefire group issue its failure, and subsequent attempts by the Government to negotiate peace with non-ceasefire groups, suggests that the role of the BGF units and their continued existence, like that of the NaSaKa, needs to be rethought..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 15)
Format/size: pdf (301K-OBL version; 446K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-15.pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 July 2013


Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kyone Doh Township, July to November 2012
Date of publication: 11 June 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, between July and November 2012. The report describes problems relating to land confiscation and contains updated information regarding the sale of forest reserve for rubber plantations involving the BGF, with individuals who profited from the sale listed. Villagers in the area rely heavily upon the forest reserve for their livelihoods and are faced with a shortage of land for their animals to graze upon; further, villagers cows have been killed if they have continued to let them graze in the area. The community member explains that although fighting has ceased since the ceasefire agreement, otherwise the situation is the same; taxation demands and loss of livelihoods has resulted in villagers being forced to take odd jobs for daily wages, while some have left for foreign countries in search of work. Villagers have some access to healthcare and education supported by the Government, the KNU and local organizations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (62K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b33.pdf

http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b33.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


Title: BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012
Date of publication: 31 May 2013
Description/subject: This report is based on information submitted by a community member in June 2012 describing events occurring in April and May 2012.[1] The information described the activities of BGF Battalion #1014, which operates along the border of Thaton and Papun districts. According to the community member, the group that is based out of Hpa-an Township, in Thaton District, has committed different abuses against the villagers who are in Hpa-an Township. Between April and May 2012, the Battalion forced local villagers from Meh K'Na Hkee village tract to clear plantation land for two companies, from whom the Battalion officers received money. In Kyon Mon Thweh village tract, villagers were required to serve as soldiers in a local militia.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (41K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b29.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b29.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013


Title: Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #2, May 2012
Date of publication: 31 May 2013
Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. The community member who wrote this report described an incident that occurred on May 29th 2012 in Kyoh Moh Thweh village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, where a group of BGF Battalion #1014 soldiers forcibly recruited villagers for a people’s militia. This report also includes information about the consequent problems the villagers endured related to this forced recruitment, such as having to pay money in lieu, or fleeing the area in order to avoid recruitment. In response to previous forced recruitment efforts, the community member reported that several villagers fled the area in order to avoid the forced service. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: “Border Guard #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012,” KHRG, May 2013.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (119K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b27.html, html
Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013


Title: Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #1, May 2012
Date of publication: 29 May 2013
Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. The community member who wrote this report described that on May 29th 2012, villagers were ordered to be recruited for a one-year service by Moe Nyo, a fomer DKBA leader now serving as a company commander in the BGF Battalion #1014, in order to form a new people's militia group. The cost to avoid service was 50,000 kyat per month, which the villagers reported having difficulties with raising. Some villagers who refused to serve, but lacked the money to opt-out and responded to the order by fleeing their village. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: "BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (91K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b26.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b26.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013


Title: Incident Report: Land confiscation and forced labour in Thaton District, April 2012
Date of publication: 27 May 2013
Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses, which describes an incident that occurred on April 25th 2012, when BGF soldiers forced villagers from T--- village, Meh K'Na Hkee village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, to clear plantations owned by Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin companies, which were located on land confiscated from the villagers. The report identifies the perpetrators as Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin companies, KSDDP and a company affiliated with BGF Battalion #1014, commanded by Tin Win and based out of Law Pu village in Hpa-an Township. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: "BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: htmlpdf, (125K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b24.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b24.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, August to September 2012
Date of publication: 12 April 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Bu Tho Township, Papun District, in the period between August and September 2012. The community member reports the use of villagers for forced labour by Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1013; from August 5th to September 28th 2012 the Battalion regularly ordered villagers to act as messengers and carry out work in Th'Ree Hta army camp; villagers were also forced to carry ammunitions and food for the soldiers without payment and to cut down bamboo canes. The community member goes on to describe BGF Battalion #1014 Commander Saw Maung Chit's failed attempt to recruit soldiers voluntarily in Meh Pree village tract and Htee Th'Daw Hta village tract, leading him to demand a total of 33 million kyat (US $37,437) from the two village tracts. Further, the report describes the arbitrary arrest, two-day detention and torture of S--- villager, Saw H---, by BGF Battalion #1014 Officer Saw Way Luh. This torture of Saw H--- left him with serious injuries; Officer Saw Way Luh is reported to have explained his torture of Saw H--- by claiming that the villager was a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) spy. Villagers' difficulties regarding health care, food shortages and education are also described in this report..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (268K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b19.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b19.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, July to October 2012
Date of publication: 11 April 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, during the period between July 2012 to October 2012. It specifically discusses forced labour, torture, the activity of major armed groups in the Bu Tho Township area, including the KNLA, DKBA, Tatmadaw and BGF, as well as villagers' healthcare, education and livelihood problems. The report describes how BGF Battalion #1014, led by Commander Maw Hsee, continues to demand materials and forced labour from villagers in order to build army camps. The report also provides details about a 50-year-old L--- villager, named Maung P---, who was arrested and tortured by the Tatmadaw Military Operation Command Column #2, which is under Battalion #44 and commanded by Hay Tha and Aung Thu Ra, because he asked other villagers to deliver a letter that the Tatmadaw demanded he deliver. The report includes information about the different challenges villagers face in Burma government and non-government controlled areas, as well as the ways villagers access healthcare from the KNU or the Burma government. According to the community member, civilians continue to face problems with their livelihood, which are caused by BGF and DKBA activities, but are improving since the ceasefire; also described are problems faced by villagers caused by natural factors, such as unhealthy crops and flooding. In order to improve crop health, farmers are using traditional remedies, but the community member mentions that those remedies do not address the problems well. Moreover, this report mentions how villagers pursue alternative livelihoods during intervals between farming and to cope with food shortages, including logging and selling wood..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (271K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b18.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b18.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, November to December 2012
Date of publication: 29 March 2013
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Hpa-an District, between November and December 2012. The report details the concerns of villagers in T'Nay Hsah Township, who have faced significant declines in their paddy harvest due to bug infestation. The community member also raises villagers' concerns regarding the cutting down of teak-like trees by developers, for the establishment of rubber plantations. The report describes how this activity seriously threatens villagers' livelihoods, and takes place via the cooperation of companies and wealthy individuals with the Burma government. The report goes on to detail demands placed upon villagers by the Border Guard Force (BGF) to contribute money to pay soldiers' salaries. Though the community member reports that these demands are not as forcibly implemented as in the past; villagers still face threats if they do not comply. Many villagers in the area, however, have chosen not to pay the money requested of them by the BGF.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (128K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b14.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: Incident Report: Forced Labour in Papun District #2, February 2012
Date of publication: 29 March 2013
Description/subject: "The following incident report was submitted to KHRG in May 2012 by a community member describing an incident that began on February 22nd 2012 in Dwe Lo Township, Papun District, where Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014 soldiers forced between 70 or 80 villagers to construct their army camp without providing any wage, the necessary building materials for construction or medical care for villagers who became sick while labouring. According to the community member who wrote this report, forced labour demands continue, but are described by villagers as having decreased to a level with which the demands do not significantly infringe upon their normal routine and less precautions are taken..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (161K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b13.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b13.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: Border Guard #1014 demands for labour and goods in Papun District, May 2012
Date of publication: 25 March 2013
Description/subject: "This report is based on information submitted to KHRG in May 2012 by a community member[1] describing events occurring in Papun District, in May 2012, involving soldiers from Border Guard Battalion #1014, which is based out of K'Ter Tee and Hpaw Htee Hku villages. Commander Nyunt Thein and his Battalion Commander Maung Chit from the Battalion #1014 were identified, by name, as the ones who committed the abuses. Villagers were forced to build a camp for the Battalion #1014, which was also reported to have looted items from the villagers and forced them to do the camp's work, all of which is uncompensated..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (253K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b9.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b9.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, September to December 2012
Date of publication: 08 March 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2013 by a community member, who describes events occurring in Papun District during December 2012. Specific abuses include arbitrary arrest of a villager by a KNLA officer, Border Guard demands for money, labour, and items, religious discrimination by the Border Guard and a Buddhist monk, violent abuse, looting and movement restrictions through road closures. The community member reports how one KNLA Commander named Saw Hpah Mee arrested and tortured villager Saw M---, as well as shooting one of his cows, while Saw M--- was travelling to trade cows in Bu Tho Township, on the Thailand-Burma border, but was unaware that the road he used was closed. This report also describes how Border Guard Battalion #1014 soldiers arrested a Muslim villager who was selling his cows on the Thai border, and subsequently looted his money, and how Border Guard Battalion #1013 soldiers forced villagers to work for them and restricting them from trading. Also described in the report is a meeting held on September 10th 2012, during which a Buddhist monk informed villagers of four rules that were created to prohibit Buddhists from interacting with Muslims, which were distributed by the Border Guard. Villagers then reported this to the KNLA and the Tatmadaw, who subsequently held a meeting regarding the rules and explained that religious discrimination should not happen. Details on the incident are published in "Incident Report: Religious discrimination and restrictions in Papun District, September 2012," KHRG, March 2013.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (164K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, July to October 2012
Date of publication: 28 February 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights. It describes events occurring in Papun District during the period between July to October 2012. Specifically discussed are Tatmadaw and Border Guard abuses, including forced labour, portering, land confiscation, coercive land sale transactions, and damages to the villagers' livelihood. The community member mentioned that large amounts of the villagers' land were confiscated and damaged, as well as an increase in waterborne diseases, from gold mines that were initially operated by the DKBA, but now villagers are uncertain if the private parties who are negotiating permission to continue from the KNU will be allowed to continue the mines. This report also describes how Border Guard #1013 confiscated more than 75 acres of plantation land in order to build shelters for soldiers' families, which created direct problems for villagers livelihoods. Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #96 has been forcing villagers to perform various work for the base and for soldiers on patrol, and demanded bamboo poles to repair their camp. Moe Win, a company second-in-command from Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division #44, sexually abused Naw C---, a married woman from T--- village, in her home while she, her baby, and her husband was sleeping. The Company Commander promised Naw C--- 200,000 kyat as compensation and to ensure she not report the crime, but only 100,000 kyat has been paid. This report, and others, will be published in March 2013 as part of KHRG's thematic report: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (342K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b3_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


Title: Demands for soldier salaries in Hpa-an District, October 2012
Date of publication: 01 February 2013
Description/subject: "On October 17th 2012, three Tatmadaw Border Guard battalions held a meeting for 1,000 villagers from five village tracts in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District, in order to announce their new soldiers retention plan for 22 inactive soldiers, and demanded that villagers pay for the plan. Each household was required to provide at least 50,000 kyat, despite villagers' efforts to negotiate with the battalion commanders, and villagers in three villages in T'Nay Hsah were informed they will have to support 13 soldiers throughout 2013, but no payments for this request have been paid yet. This news bulletin is based on information submitted to KHRG in November and December 2012 by a community member in Hpa-an District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (133K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


Title: Papun Interview: Saw N---, January 2012
Date of publication: 27 July 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during January 2012 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw N---, a 39 year-old married father of four, who is both a hill field farmer and village head from K--- village in Day Wah village tract, who described the forced recruitment of soldiers into the Border Guard, and how he had arranged for the release of a local villager who had been prohibited from leaving the DKBA by making a cash payment totalling 1,000,000 kyat (US $1,135). Also described in the report, are instances of theft of villagers' livestock, forced labour and forced portering instigated by the Border Guard. Saw N--- mentions the continuous physical assault and other abuse of local villagers, specifically by a Border Guard soldier called Thaw Kweh. Saw N--- also provides information on village life in regards to healthcare, food security, and education. Saw N--- mentions that villagers have avoided paying for a government teacher and choose to pay a local teacher, whom they pay 5,000 kyat (US $5.65) per student for a year. Concerns are also raised in regards to construction projects in the local area."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (308K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b70.html
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


Title: Papun Interview: Saw D---, January 2012
Date of publication: 19 July 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during January 2012 in Bu Thoh Township, Papun District, by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw D---, the 44-year-old L--- village head, who described forced labour, Tatmadaw and Border Guard targeting of civilians, demands for food, and denial of humanitarian services, such as a school. He specifically described that both the Border Guard and the KNLA planted landmines around the village and, as a result, the villagers had to flee to another village because they were afraid and unable to continue with their farming. Saw D--- also mentioned that the Tatmadaw often made orders for forced portering without payment, or if they did pay, the payments were not fair for the villagers, including one villager who stepped on a landmine while portering. In addition, he described an incident in which one villager was shot at and arbitrarily tortured while returning from Myaing Gyi Ngu town to L--- village. Saw D--- also raised concerns regarding food shortages and the adequate provision of education for children."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (306K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b66.html
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, December 2011
Date of publication: 16 July 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 40-year-old Buddhist monk, Saw T---, who is a former member of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Border Guard, who described activities pertaining to Border Guard Battalion #1013 based at K'Hsaw Wah, Papun District. Saw T--- described human rights abuses including the forced conscription of child soldiers, or the forcing to hire someone in their place, costing 1,500,000 Kyat (US $1833.74). This report also describes the use of landmines by the Border Guard, and how villagers are forced to carry them while acting as porters. Also mentioned, is the on-going theft of villagers money and livestock by the Border Guard, as well as the forced labour of villagers in order to build army camps and the transportation of materials to the camps; the stealing of villagers' livestock after failing to provide villagers to serve as forced labour, is also mentioned. Saw T--- provides information on the day-to-day life of a soldier in the Border Guard, describing how villagers are forcibly conscripted into the ranks of the Border Guard, do not receive treatment when they are sick, are not allowed to visit their families, nor allowed to resign voluntarily. Saw T--- described how, on one occasion a deserter's elderly father was forced to fill his position until the soldier returned. Saw T--- also mentions the hierarchical payment structure, the use of drugs within the border guard and the training, which he underwent before joining the Border Guard. Concerns are also raised by Saw T--- to the community member who wrote this report, about his own safety and his fear of returning to his home in Papun, as he feels he will be killed, having become a deserter himself as of October 2nd 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (331K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b63.html
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


Title: Villagers return home four months after DKBA and Border Guard clash, killing one civilian, injuring two in Pa'an
Date of publication: 27 June 2012
Description/subject: "On February 19th 2012, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) ambushed a truck carrying a group of soldiers from Border Guard Battalion #1015 near Myaing Gyi Ngu town in Pa'an District, after the Border Guard soldiers stole weapons from the DKBA base at M--- village. Two villagers living near the site of the ambush were injured, and one was killed. Since then, movement restrictions have been imposed on Border Guard and DKBA troops operating in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area by the Burma government, which prohibits military units in possession of weapons from travelling within three miles of Myaing Gyi Ngu town. As of June 6th 2012, villagers living near Border Guard and DKBA camps, including the two villagers who were injured on February 19th, were reported to have returned to their villages, after having previously moved away. Directly after the clash in February, community members described their safety concerns and the possible consequences for civilians should the January 12th ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Tatmadaw be broken."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (126K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b61.html
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2012


Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Bw---, September 2011
Date of publication: 13 June 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Bw---, a 25-year-old logger from Eg--- village, who described events that occurred while he was carrying out logging work between the villages of A--- and S---. He provides information on military activity in the area, specifically about shifting relations between armed groups, with Border Guard and DKBA troops ceasing to cooperate, and a heightened Tatmadaw presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also explained the disruptive impact of fighting between Border Guard and armed groups in the area on A--- villagers, who are described as fleeing to avoid conflict, as well as providing information on one instance in which A--- villagers were ordered to relocate by the commander of Border Guard Battalion #1017, but instead chose strategic displacement into hiding. He mentions the difficulties that he had in logging following the Border Guard's increased presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also described the presence of landmines in the area around A--- and how his employer paid approximately US $1222.49 to DKBA troops to have them removed. This incident concerning landmines is also described in a thematic report published by KHRG on May 21st, 2012, Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (164K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b58.html
Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


Title: Pa’an Situation Update: September 2011
Date of publication: 12 May 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in October 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa’an District, in the period between September and October 2011. Villagers in T’Nay Hsah Township are reported to be subject to demands for forced labour by Border Guard Battalion #1017, specifically to work on Battalion Commander Saw Dih Dih’s own plantations. Information is also provided on an incident that occurred in T’Nay Hsah Township in which the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Battalion #101’s temporary camp in Kler Law Seh village was attacked with heavy weapons by Border Guard Battalions #1017 and #1019, and by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division (LID) #22. Since the takeover of the KNLA Battalion #101 camp by Border Guard troops, villagers in T’Nay Hseh Township have experienced an increase in demands for forced labour such as portering, as well as demands for villagers to cook at the Border Guard base and to serve as soldiers in the Border Guard, with payment demanded in lieu of military service. Such abuses are also described in the report, "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011", published by KHRG on October 24th 2011, and "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011 to January 2012", published by KHRG on May 2nd 2012. Border Guard troops have also embarked on the extensive laying of landmines near Th--- village, including near villagers' fields, and one villager was reported to have been seriously injured by a landmine whilst serving as a soldier in the Border Guard. Villagers are said to be concerned about the potential impact of the landmines on the welfare of their livestock, with one villager reportedly confronting a Border Guard soldier over this issue."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (129K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b41.html
Date of entry/update: 15 May 2012


Title: Thaton Situation Update: October 2010 to June 2011
Date of publication: 29 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG by a villager describing events occurring in Thaton District between October 2010 and June 2011. It contains updated information concerning the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Border Guard transformations and Tatmadaw and Border Guard camp locations. It also provides details on the forced recruitment of villagers by former members of the DKBA, who were not accepted into the Border Guard, towards the establishment of pyi thu sit (people’s militia). While the villager who wrote this report notes a significant reduction in the frequency of human rights abuses, they also note the persistence and expansion of several kinds of abuses, namely: indirect demands for forced labour levied on villagers by the Tatmadaw through religious leaders; expropriation of villagers’ lands by extractive industry companies; monetary demands on villages in lieu of forced recruitment of villagers into local pyi thu sit units; and taxation and demands by the Border Guard, accompanied by threats for non-compliance. Furthermore, the villager expressed concerns regarding the impact of abnormal weather patterns on rice and plantation crops, which have exacerbated food scarcity and prompted many villagers to seek work abroad in Thailand and Malaysia."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (136K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b31.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: ETHNIC AREAS UPDATE: BURMA HEADS TOWARD CIVIL WAR
Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: • Despite the 7 November election’s illusory promise of an inclusive democratic system, the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate... • In addition to the ongoing offensives against ethnic non-ceasefire groups, the Tatmadaw increasingly targeted ceasefire groups who rejected the regime’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme... • In Shan and Kachin States, the Tatmadaw broke ceasefire agreements signed in 1989 and 1994 respectively... • Ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire and non-ceasefire groups displaced about 13,000 civilians in Kachin State, at least 700 in Northern Shan State, and forced over 1,800 to flee from Karen State into Thailand... • Civilians bore the brunt of the Tatmadaw’s military operations, which resulted in the death of 15 civilians in Northern Shan State and five in Karen State... Tatmadaw troops gang-raped at least 18 women and girls in Southern Kachin State... • Desertion continues to hit Tatmadaw battalions, including BGF units, engaged in military operations in ethnic areas... • Reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Tatmadaw troops surfaced during offensives against Shan State Army-North forces... • In February, in response to the Tatmadaw’s ongoing attacks in ethnic areas, 12 ethnic armed opposition groups, ceasefire groups, and political organizations agreed to form a new coalition - the Union Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)... • The situation for residents living in conflict zones of ethnic States remains grim as the regime re-launched its ‘four cuts’ policy which targets civilians... • The situation is likely to continue due to Burma’s constitution and the recently enacted laws, including the national conscription law.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (116K)
Date of entry/update: 30 June 2011


Title: Beginning of the End of Peace?
Date of publication: December 2010
Description/subject: "...Many observers predict that the recent round of armed clashes and border closures are only the junta’s initial volley against the ethnic militias—both those that have signed cease-fire agreements and those that have not. They say that in the wake of the election, the junta will either launch a major offensive, outlaw all armed ethnic groups, or possibly both..."
Author/creator: Saw Yan Naing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 12
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: Karen rebels go on offensive in Myanmar
Date of publication: 16 November 2010
Description/subject: While Myanmar's generals held their stage-managed elections, an ethnic rebel group forcibly seized control of two border towns and highlighted immediately the polls' ineffectiveness at achieving national reconciliation. Government forces on Tuesday forced the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) out of Myawaddy and Pyathounzu towns, but the attacks already had significant repercussions for the transition from military to civilian rule.
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


Title: Border Guard Force Plan to Be Sidelined
Date of publication: 24 May 2010
Description/subject: "The Burmese military junta will not impose its border guard force (BGF) plan on ethnic cease-fire groups until after the general election, sources close to the War Office in Naypyidaw have told The Irrawaddy..."
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2010


Title: Myanmar ceasefires on a tripwire
Date of publication: 30 April 2010
Description/subject: "Yet another deadline has passed for ethnic ceasefire groups in Myanmar to join the military as part of a new government-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF). With the rainy season approaching and a transition from military to civilian rule underway, opportunities are dwindling for the ruling junta to force the groups to agree before elections are held later this year..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2010


Title: Ethnic Rebel Groups Defy Junta’s Order
Date of publication: 23 April 2010
Description/subject: "...Burma’s military regime is facing a formidable challenge from ethnic rebel groups that are refusing to kowtow to its order that they join the South-east Asian country’s army as border guard forces. The junta’s order that the five armed groups in the country’s northern and eastern borders meet an Apr. 28 deadline is a test of how far the oppressive regime can flex its political muscle ahead of a promised general election later this year. For now, at least, the defiance showed by the ethnic groups - the most powerful of which is the United Wa State Army (UWSA) that has a troop strength of over 20,000 – confirms the limits of the junta’s political powers, say analysts. After all, the latest deadline is the fifth since April last year, when the junta first ordered armed minority groups to transform into a border guard force..."
Author/creator: Marwaan Macan-Markar
Language: English
Source/publisher: IPS
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL’s Response to 22nd April Deadline of Merger with Burma Army
Date of publication: 07 April 2010
Description/subject: "...I would like to clarify to you that no matter what name you come up with, we will not agree or respond to any kind of military program which disturbs the peace and security of the lives of our Karen. More than that, you are against your own policy and propaganda in TV and all newspapers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL
Format/size: pdf (415K))
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Disquiet on the Northern Front
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: The uneasy peace in Kachin State is under constant pressure, as the Burmese junta's border guard force scheme meets continued resistance
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010


Title: A Matter of Autonomy and Arms
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: The NMSP, one of the smaller ethnic cease-fire groups, defies the Burmese generals by rejecting their border guard force order... "It was dawn when I reached Palanjapan, a remote village near Three Pagodas Pass in Burma’s Mon State. People in every household were busy preparing for celebrations to mark the 63rd anniversary of Mon National Day. Slide Show (View) Following the rhythm of military drum beats, several columns of Mon soldiers dressed in their best green camouflage uniforms and holding aging AK-47 assault rifles marched toward the parade ground in the center of the village, where a crowd of about 1,000 Mon waited for their leaders to officially open the national day ceremony. Nai Htaw Mon, the chairman of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), delivered a speech reaffirming the party’s pledge to work for a federal union and self-determination for the Mon people. “This year is important for our people and our political strength, based on our united nationalist spirit,” Nai Htaw Mon said in a statement. “Until the realization of a genuine multi-party democracy and the self-determination of the Mon people, we will continue to resist and fight hand-in-hand with our allied ethnic brothers.”..."
Author/creator: Htet Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


Title: A Fragile Peace
Date of publication: February 2010
Description/subject: The Kachin negotiate with the regime on the border guard force issue, while recruiting and training more soldiers... "At the traditional Manau dance this year—held in Myitkyina, the capital of Burma’s northern Kachin State—Kachin soldiers were not allowed to dance in military uniforms. Earlier, the Burmese regime sent three members of the notorious Press Scrutiny and Registration Division to censor stories in the Kachin language newspaper that published articles about the festival, held annually on Kachin State Day, Jan. 10. To show their unhappiness, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which signed a cease-fire agreement with the junta in 1994, sent only 200 soldiers to the festival. Last year, about 2,000 KIA personnel joined the festivities..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 2
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17702
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL STATEMENT
Date of publication: 20 October 2009
Description/subject: "...Gen Ye Myit is putting pressure on the Karen to accept his proposal of the Border Guard Force. This is similar to last May, when they presented the same approach to the KNU/KNLA Peace Council (PC) for them to accept the same said proposal before the scheduled election of 2010. Ye Myit said that if the Karen would accept his proposal of becoming part of the Border Guard Force then when the democratic government comes into power the KNU/KNLA PC will not be left out nor branded as an illegal armed force. The KNU/KNLA PC clarified that we will not accept the proposal of becoming part of the Border Guard Force as Ye Myit proposed. This is based on 3 main reasons as follows:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL
Format/size: pdf (287K)
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: THE KOKANG CLASHES – WHAT NEXT?
Date of publication: September 2009
Description/subject: "...Recent clashes in Shan State between the Burma Army and the Myanmar National Democracy Alliance Army (MNDAA or Kokang) have highlighted differences between the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the ethnic ceasefire groups as the 2010 election approaches. Attempts by the SPDC to persuade the ceasefire groups to transform themselves into Border Guard Forces or surrender their arms and contest the forthcoming elections as a political party seem to have failed. Ostensibly, the SPDC is trying pressure the groups to conform to its 2008 Constitution, which states in Chapter VII Clause 338, Defense Services, that “…all armed forces in the union shall be under the command of the defense services”. Faced with a forthcoming constitutional dilemma the regime had little option but to seek an alternative in dealing with the ceasefire groups. Mindful of China’s influence and support for these groups, and also its need to legitimize its actions..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office (EBO Analysis Paper No.1/2009)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


Title: Neither War Nor Peace - The Future of the Ceasefire Agreements in Burma
Date of publication: July 2009
Description/subject: Introduction: "This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first ceasefire agreements in Burma, which put a stop to decades of fighting between the military government and a wide range of ethnic armed opposition groups. These groups had taken up arms against the government in search of more autonomy and ethnic rights. The military government has so far failed to address the main grievances and aspirations of the cease-fire groups. The regime now wants them to disarm or become Border Guard Forces. It also wants them to form new political parties which would participate in the controversial 2010 elections. They are unlikely to do so unless some of their basic demands are met. This raises many serious questions about the future of the cease-fires. The international community has focused on the struggle of the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has become an international icon. The ethnic minority issue and the relevance of the cease-fire agreements have been almost completely ignored. Ethnic conflict needs to be resolved in order to bring about any lasting political solution. Without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals it is extremely unlikely there will be peace and democracy in Burma. Instead of isolating and demonising the cease-fire groups, all national and international actors concerned with peace and democracy in Burma should actively engage with them, and involve them in discussions about political change in the country. This paper explains how the cease-fire agreements came about, and analyses the goals and strategies of the ceasefire groups. It also discusses the weaknesses the groups face in implementing these goals, and the positive and negative consequences of the cease-fires, including their effect on the economy. The paper then examines the international responses to the cease-fires, and ends with an overview of the future prospects for the agreements"
Author/creator: Tom Kramer
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute
Format/size: pdf (1.74MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/TNIceasefires.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009