Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (Myanmar (Burma))

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Details of Formation: The group defected from the largely Christian Karen National Union in 1994. The DKBA signed a ceasefire agreement with the government shortly afterwards, fighting from then on for the government.
Details of Termination: On 18 August 2010, the DKBA officially joined the Border Guard Force (BGF), which is part of the regular army. A small faction of around 1000 fighters under the command of Colonel Saw Lar Pwe refused to sign up to the BGF and started to fight against the government as the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army-Brigade 5 (DKBA-5). After one year, a new ceasefire agreement was signed but it seems to be very fragile because clashes erupted afterwards again.
Purpose: The group was used to protect the borders and later there were attempts to turn it into a police force. It fought (suspected) insurgents from the Karen National Union. Other tasks included infrastructural projects or agricultural measures.
Organisation: According to one source, the leader of the group was Thuzana, but other than this there is no information about its leadership. It is reported that the group aligned with the government in return for military and financial support, but it is not clear to what extent this was implemented.
Weapons and Training: There is little information on training, but according to one source the military provided training to transform the PGM into a police force.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: The group had its own ideology as a potential incentive to join the group, but it is also reported that members looted refugee camps, which may have been a motivation to become a member. Religious belonging (Buddhism) played a role in the formation of the group when it split from the Christian led Karen National Liberation Army, therefore it may also be a reason for membership. The PGM used child soldiers, some of whom were forced to join.
Treatment of Civilians: The group was accused of killings and assassinations. Among its targets were suspected rebels, Karen refugees and refugee camps in Thailand, which were looted and burnt down. Sources state that the group forcibly relocated villagers and intimidated the population prior to elections by planning attacks.
Other Information: --
References: Information was taken from the news sources listed in the PGMD.

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