1948 Myanmar (also known as Burma) gains independence from Britain. Civil wars break out almost immediately as ethnic people demand greater autonomy.

1962 Army general Ne Win stages a coup against the elected government and creates a one-party state. Civil wars continue. In subsequent years, some ceasefire pacts are signed, but conflict also continues in many areas.

1995 The military leaders had by then signed several ceasefire agreements with ethnic-armed organizations.

2008 A new constitution is introduced.

2009 The military leaders demand that all "ceasefire groups" transform into "Border Guard Forces" and accept the command of the Myanmar army. Many armed organizations refuse.

2009 Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi begins talks with Myanmar’s military leaders and is allowed to meet Western diplomats.

2010 Federal elections are held, which introduce the first civilian government. Twenty-five percent of the Parliament seats are allocated to the military.

2011 The Myanmar government starts a 3-phased peace initiative with ethnic groups (ceasefire, confidence-building and political dialogue, and agreement for eternal peace).

2012 By mid-2012, 13 groups across the country have signed bilateral ceasefire agreements with the government.

2013 Leaders of 17 ethnic armed groups establish a Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), which will represent them in negotiations with a government peace negotiation team, the Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC).

2015 16 ethnic-armed organizations and the government sign a draft ceasefire agreement. Negotiations continue.

Nonviolent Peaceforce Response

Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) supports the peace process by enhancing local efforts to protect civilians in areas of Myanmar that have been affected by decades of armed conflict between state armed forces and multiple non-state ethnic-armed organizations.

Local civil society organizations in Myanmar were inspired by the active participation of civilians in the peace processes in Aceh, Indonesia, and Mindanao, the Philippines.

When delegates from civil society groups from Myanmar met with Nonviolent Peaceforce in Mindanao and observed the role of NP in the monitoring of ceasefire agreements, they requested NP to come to Myanmar and support them in doing similar work.

In August 2012, following a scoping mission, NP received an invitation from the Government of Myanmar to work in the country.

Currently, NP focuses on four states in Myanmar, these being: Mon, Chin, Kachin and Kayin States.

NP is currently comprised of 10 staff; 6 international staff and 4 national -- 5 women and 5 men. International staff come from Nepal, the United Kingdom, the United States, Kenya, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica.

NP is working through local partners, both national level civil society and community based organizations working in conflict-affected areas.

NP supports its partners by providing technical advice on the establishment of monitoring mechanisms (networks), and building the capacity of partners and monitors in unarmed civilian protection and/or ceasefire monitoring.

NP builds relationships with all sides of the conflict including the government and ethnic-armed organizations and supports civilian monitors in building their own relationships with key actors in their areas.

Monitors trained by NP and local partners have facilitated dialogue between ceasefire parties about alleged ceasefire violations, engaged with authorities about International Humanitarian Law to encourage fair treatment of prisoners, and negotiated with armed forces about the evacuation of injured and elderly civilians caught in cross-fires.

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