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Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army

Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
LeaderPheung Daxun[1]
Dates of operation12 March 1989 (1989-03-12) – present
Active regionsKokang, Myanmar
IdeologyKokang nationalism
Part of Myanmar National Truth and Justice Party [zh]
AlliesNorthern Alliance[3]

Other allies

Opponents Myanmar Union of Myanmar (until 2011)
Battles and warsInternal conflict in Myanmar
Succeeded by
Mongko Region Defence Army (split in 1995)
Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
Simplified Chinese缅甸民族民主同盟军
Traditional Chinese緬甸民族民主同盟軍

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)[n 1] is an armed resistance group in the Kokang region of Myanmar (Burma). The army has existed since 1989, having been the first one to sign a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government. The ceasefire lasted for about two decades.[4][5]


The group was formed on 12 March 1989, after the local head of the local Communist Party of Burma, Pheung Kya-shin (also spelt Peng Jia Sheng or Phone Kyar Shin), dissatisfied with the communist government, broke away and formed the MNDAA.[6] Along with his brother, Peng Jiafu, they became the new unit in Kokang.[7] The strength of the army is between 1,500 and 2,000 men.[7]

The rebels soon became the first group to agree to a ceasefire with the government troops. As the first group in the Shan State area to sign a ceasefire, the Burmese central government referred to the Kokang region controlled by the MNDAA as "Shan State Special Region 1" (Chinese: 缅甸掸邦第一特区; Burmese: မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ ရှမ်းပြည်နယ်အထူးဒေသ (၁)).[6] After the ceasefire, the area underwent an economic boom, with both the MNDAA and regional Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) troops profiting from increased opium harvests and heroin-refining.[8] The area also produces methamphetamine.[9] The MNDAA and other paramilitary groups control the cultivation areas, making them an easy target for drug trafficking and organised crime groups.[9] The Peace Myanmar Group allegedly launders and reinvests MNDAA's drug profits into the legal economy.[10]

2009 Kokang conflict

In August 2009, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army became involved in a violent conflict with the Myanmar Armed Forces. This was the largest outbreak of fighting between ethnic armies and government troops since the signing of the ceasefire 20 years earlier.[11]

As a result of the conflict, the MNDAA lost control of Kokang, and as many as 30,000 refugees fled to Yunnan province in neighbouring China.[12] The Kokang area became the Kokang Self-Administered Zone on 20 August 2010, however, it was recognized as illegal by MNDAA.[13][14]

2015 offensive

On 9 February 2015 the MNDAA tried to retake the area, clashing with Burmese government forces in Laukkai. The skirmishes left a total of 47 Government soldiers dead and 73 wounded. After several months of intense conflict, Kokang insurgents had failed to capture Laukkai. Following the incident, the government of China was accused of giving military assistance to the ethnic Kokang soldiers.[15]

2017 clashes

On 6 March 2017, MNDAA insurgents attacked police and military posts in Laukkai, resulting in the deaths of 30 people.[16][17]

2021 post-coup resistance

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2023)

Clashes with the Tatmadaw resumed after the military coup, with MNDAA alongside its allies, the Arakan Army and Ta'ang National Liberation Army, attacking a police station south of Lashio, killing at least 14 police officers and burning the station to the ground.[18] MNDAA and TNLA further launched attacks in multiple locations in Northern Shan State on 4 and 5 May 2021, inflicting heavy casualties on the Myanmar military.[19]

The MNDAA were involved in Operation 1027 in October 2023, launching coordinated attacks and seizing junta outposts ranging from Lashio to Hopang Township in northern Shan State.[20][21]

On 28 October 2023 it was reported that Chinshwehaw had come fully under control of the MNDAA during the ongoing civil war.[22]

On 7 December, Kokang media posted pictures purported to be the body of Brigadier General Aung Zaw Linn, commander of the 12th Military Operations Command, with claims that he was killed in action during combat with the MNDAA. While the Tatmadaw has not yet confirmed his death, it would mark the first general officer to be killed in action since the start of the conflict.[23]

On 5 January 2024, MNDAA gained full control of Laukkai, the capital of Kokang, following a mass surrender of the last Burmese military junta forces.[24][25] In the same day, MNDAA claimed the "liberation" of Kokang.[26]

See also


  1. ^ Also known as the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army and Kokang Army.


  1. ^ "Myanmar Peace Monitor - MNDAA". 6 June 2013. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  2. ^ (Myanmar Peace Monitor).orgname="47 Govt Troops Killed, Tens of Thousands Flee Heavy Fighting in Shan State".
  3. ^ Lynn, Kyaw Ye. "Curfew imposed after clashes near Myanmar-China border". Anadolu Agency. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  4. ^ Ethnic group in Myanmar said to break cease-fire Archived 6 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press. 28 August 2009.
  5. ^ Fredholm, Michael (1993). Burma: ethnicity and insurgency. Praeger. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-275-94370-7.
  6. ^ a b South, Ashley (2008). Ethnic politics in Burma: states of conflict. Taylor & Francis. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-203-89519-1.
  7. ^ a b Rotberg, Robert (1998). Burma: prospects for a democratic future. Brookings Institution Press. p. 169.
  8. ^ Skidmore, Monique; Wilson, Trevor (2007). Myanmar: the state, community and the environment. ANU E Press. p. 69.
  9. ^ a b Shanty, Frank; Mishra, Patit Paban (2007). Organized crime: from trafficking to terrorism. ABC-CLIO. p. 70.
  10. ^ A Failing Grade: Burma's Drug Eradication Efforts (PDF). Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma. 2004. ISBN 978-9749243343. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  11. ^ Johnston, Tim (29 August 2009). "China Urges Burma to Bridle Ethnic Militia Uprising at Border". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  12. ^ Mullen, Jethro; Mobasherat, Mitra. "Myanmar says Kokang rebels killed 47 of its soldiers". CNN. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  13. ^ 果敢资讯网 (31 October 2023). 缅甸掸邦第一特区军事管制委员会对敌伪人员的通令(汉/缅) (in Chinese). 网易新闻. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  14. ^ 果敢资讯网 (7 November 2023). (评论)缅伪政权统治果敢的十宗罪. 网易新闻. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  15. ^ "Myanmar Kokang Rebels Deny Receiving Chinese Weapons". Archived from the original on 11 May 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Deadly clashes hit Kokang in Myanmar's Shan state". Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Myanmar rebel clashes in Kokang leave 30 dead". BBC News. 6 March 2017. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  18. ^ Eckert, Paul (10 April 2021). "Ethnic Army Alliance Kills 14 Myanmar Police in Dawn Raid as Death Toll Mounts in Bago". Radio Free Asia. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  19. ^ "TNLA, MNDAA Claim to Have Killed Dozens of Myanmar Junta Troops in Shan State". The Irrawaddy. 5 May 2021. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  20. ^ Watch, Dawei (27 October 2023). "၁၀၂၇ စစ်ဆင်ရေးအဖြစ် ရှမ်းမြောက်ပိုင်းရှိ စစ်ကောင်စီ၏ စစ်ရေးပစ်မှတ်များကိုဝင်တိုက်" (in Burmese). Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  21. ^ "Ethnic rebel alliance attacks military positions across northern Myanmar". Al Jazeera. 27 October 2023. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  22. ^ Zan, Hein Htoo (28 October 2023). "Ethnic Alliance Report Rapid Gains From Myanmar Junta Along Chinese Border". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  23. ^ "敏昂萊武裝第12野戰旅旅長在果敢戰場被擊斃" [Tatmadaw's 12th Military Operations Brigadier General Shot Dead in Kokang Battlefield]. 果敢资讯网 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 9 December 2023. Retrieved 8 December 2023.
  24. ^ "MNDAA captures military command centre outside Laukkai, taking full control of city". Myanmar Now. 5 January 2024.
  25. ^ "Myanmar Regime Raises the White Flag in Kokang Zone on China Border in Shan State". The Irrawaddy. 5 January 2024.
  26. ^ "MNDAA Liberates Kokang From Myanmar Junta". The Irrawaddy. 6 January 2024.
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Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
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