The government is sensitive to the threat of terrorism and is engaged with international partners on this issue. There is no evidence to suggest that international terrorist organizations have operational capacity in Burma or are actively targeting Western interests. Although both Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and ISIS in the Philippines (ISIS-P) have called for attacks in Burma as a result of the Rakhine crisis involving the Rohingya people, these calls are so far largely seen as aspirational in nature. Additionally, crime in Burma is low compared to other countries within the region. While violence or demonstrations rarely target U.S. or other Western interests in Burma, several ethnic armed groups are engaged in ongoing civil conflict with the government of Burma, which occurs almost exclusively in the ethnic states. On October 15, 2015, the government of Burma and eight ethnic armed groups (EAGs) signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). Two additional armed ethnic groups joined the NCA in February 2018. However, several ethnic armed groups, including the most powerful ones, have not signed the NCA and some signatories continue to fight with the military and other EAGs.
While most of the major cities are quite safe, several areas of the country, particularly the ethnic states, routinely see conflict between the government and EAGs, as well as inter-ethnic violence between EAGs. One of the ways these conflicts manifest is in the use of landmines and attacks involving improvised explosive devices. These incidents generally target government security forces, but there have been collateral casualties among the civilian population. The continued use of landmines by the Burmese military and EAGs in the north, northeast, and southeast continue to routinely result in civilian casualties. Civilians have also been killed as a result of clashes between the military and the EAGs, as well as inter-ethnic conflicts.
On August 25, 2017, a Rohingya insurgent group attacked about 30 security outposts in northern Rakhine State. The government characterized this event as a terrorist attack, and Burmese security forces launched clearance operations throughout northern Rakhine State. Hundreds of Rohingya villages were burned, and there were widespread, credible allegations of abuses by security forces. An estimated 730,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh, and tens of thousands of non-Rohingya are displaced inside Rakhine State. In November 2017, the U.S. Secretary of State determined that the situation constituted ethnic cleansing. Violence has not spread to other areas of Burma as a result of the crisis in Rakhine State although, as noted above, certain states in Burma continue to experience ethnic or religious violence. Burma has a minority Muslim population, and violence between Buddhists and Muslims did occur in other parts of the country in 2013 and 2014 following intercommunal violence in Rakhine State in 2012. Since late 2018, there has been a marked increase in violence as a result of the ongoing conflict between the Burmese security forces and fighters from the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic Rakhine, largely Buddhist, EAG. A number of townships in northern Rakhine and southern Chin are currently off limits for U.S. government travel due to the violence from this conflict.