It is almost a year since the war between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar government re-ignited. In that time New Mandala has kept up a steady stream of related analysis and commentary (such as these posts on media, combat deaths, prisoners, operations, and the regional context).

As the first anniversary of these renewed Kachin hostilities looms it is time to re-assess exactly what has happened in the struggle for peaceful, participatory political processes in ethnic minority areas. In some places I think the trends are pretty good. In others they are nearly as bad as they have ever been.

What explains this prevailing contradiction? Might the first anniversary of the new Kachin war provide impetus for positive change?