Founded: November 1st, 1988
Headquarters: KNU Controlled Area
Branches: US and Australia
Active Region: Within KIA and KNU-controlled areas
Size: Over 400
Chairman – Ye Baw Than Khae
Vice Chairman – Ye Baw Myo Win
General Secretary– Ye Baw Sonny
On its 30th anniversary in 2020, The All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) said that Myanmar’s political landscape would be marked by delays in the peace process, increasing military conflicts, and new health challenges. The group has advocated for human rights, particularly the rights of children living in conflict zones.
A statement issued on the 32nd anniversary of the founding of the ABSDF called for support during the 2020 general elections with the stated aim of working for peace and national reconciliation. The group has three political demands: to conduct inclusive political dialogue, to draft a constitution that guarantees democracy, equality and self-determination, and to create a democratic federal union.
The ABSDF, which emerged from the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, was removed from the list of unlawful associations on October 12th, 2015. The group signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on October 15th, 2015, and participated in the peace process.
The ABSDF was criticised for its participation in the 6th anniversary of the NCA by the State Administration Council (SAC). On October 24th, 2021, the group issued a statement that its participation in the event was not a decision of the ABSDF central committee. At around 5 pm on November 2nd, the military junta forces and police arrived at the ABSDF liaison office in Myawaddy to detain four members of the group, including Aung Baw, who was in charge, and Tin Soe.
The ABSDF reported that it had joined forces with the local People Defence Force in Sagaing Region to attack the military junta forces. Its leader said that the ethnic armed groups can no longer expect peace from negotiations with the SAC.
Ceasefires and Peace Process
Official Representative Team
Ceasefire & Peace Process
NCA signed: 15 October 2015
# Post-NCA Signed Clashes:
The ABSDF is a student army that formed after the 1988 uprisings. Their objective is to fight for democracy and human rights in Myanmar alongside other democratic and ethnic nationality forces. They have 7 camps along the Myanmar-Thailand border, 3 camps along the Myanmar-India border and 3 camps on the Myanmar-China border. The ABSDF also has foreign branches in the US and Australia.
Official delegation team
U Myo Win (UPDJC)
ABSDF northern Burma Branch bases in KIA
|#||Date||Location||Militia rep||Govt Rep||Details|
|1||17/01/2012||Mae Sot, Thailand||Vice-chairman Myo Win||Aung Thaung||ABSDF presented a ‘peace talk’ paper that defined their position. They accepted the government’s peace offer as a constructive first step and ready to talk if they are allocated equal rights. The government sent a formal letter offering to engage in peace talks with the ABSDF on Jan.10, 2012.|
|2||09/02/2012||Mae Sot, Thailand||Vice-chairman Myo Win||Major Saw Khin Soe (representing Aung Thaung)||No agreement was made, but both sides agreed to meet again for further negotiations.|
|3||09/11/2012||Chiang Mai, Thailand||Chairman Than Khe, General secretary Myo Win and 4 others||Aung Min||Both parties agreed on two points: (1) allow an ABSDF delegation to safely conduct a series of studies on the conditions in Myanmar (2) to continue political dialogue with the government Hla Maung Shwe, Nyo Ohn Myint were present|
|4||18-24/12/2012||Naypyidaw and MPC Yangon||Chairman Than Khe, Secretary Sonny Mahindra and 7 others||Aung Min and MPC members||An ABSDF delegation organized a study trip to better understand the government’s development and implementation of the peace process in the country. During the trip, they consulted with 88 Generation Student Group leaders, SNLD leader Khun Htun Oo and other ethnic political party leaders. The ABSDF delegation also met with their respective families.|
|5||21/05/2013||MPC||ABSDF||U Aung Min||Ko Kyaw Ko and Ko Sonny Mahindra led the ABSDF met with U Aung Min at MPC on May 21. ABSDF said “peace and national reconcialiation is important and priority to implement”. they discussed about continuing peace talks. Representatives from northern region did not turn up as the govt did not provide assistance or security.|
|6||12/07/2013||Chiang Mai, Thailand||ABSDF technical team||MPC technical team||No resulted|
|7||05/08/2013||Yangon-MPC||ABSDF- total 34- 24 from CEC, 5 from northern and 5 from India||UPWC/ MPC||4 agreement, 1. starting from august 5 to ceasefire, 2. ABSDF members must be free going around without weapons 3. Liaisons office open at Myawaddy and other places etc. 4. Union level discussion will be on 10 August for the official representative. 12 points proposed by ABSDF.|
|8||10/08/2013||Yangon-MPC||ABSDF Chairman Than Khe, Vice-Chairman Myo Win, General Secretary Sonny and CEC members||U Aung Min and U Thein Zaw,Lt-Gen Thet Naing Win, U Ohn Myint, U Khin Yi and U Zeyar Aung,U Zaw Min, Deputy Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, the Kayin state advocate-general, the state security and border affairs minister, the senior military officers from the Office of Commander-in chief (Army), members of Myanmar Peace Center||12 points agreement|
|9||08/11/2013||Yangon-MPC||General Secretary Sonny and CEC members||UPWC technical team||Informal meeting|
|10||09/11/2013||Yangon-MPC||ABSDF/ ALP||UPWC- Aung Min||Informal meeting|
|11||20/11/2013||Nay Pyi Taw||ABSDF||UPWC- Aung Min||UPWC and ABSDF meets in Naypyitaw for the ceasefire terms during the union level talks.|
|12||30/05/2014||Naypyitaw||Ko Sonny and Ko Kyaw Lin||Minister of Commerce U Win Myint||Business|
release all political prisoners
stop offensives in Kachin state and start political dialogue
build mutual trust and respect all-inclusive dialogue
The government requested for the ABSDF to surrender their arms and set up a political party.
Activities with partners
The ABSDF supports the KIA in military campaigns. (1988-96, 2011-ongoing)
During the ABSDF delegation study trip in December 2012, they met with NLD patron Tin Oo Ethnic Shan, Arakan and Mon leaders from the United Nationalities Alliance and 88 Generation Students group.
10 December 2020 – ABSDF released a statement regarding CEC meeting
1 November 2020 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 32nd Anniversary of ABSDF
1 November 2019 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 31st Anniversary of ABSDF
7 February 2019 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 72nd anniversary Shan State National day
31 January 2019 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 70th Anniversary Of Karen Revolution Day
17 August 2018 – ABSDF released a condolence message for Ma Thin Thin Aye aka Ma Mee Mee
1 November 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 29th Anniversary of ABSDF
13 August 2017 – ABSDF released a condolence message For U Aung Shwe.
8 August 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 29th Anniversary Of 8888 Uprising
14 March 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding KNU 16th Congress
7 February 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 70th Anniversary of Shan State National Day
7 January 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding detention of comrade Min Htay
1 November 2016 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 28th Anniversary of ABSDF
24 September 2016 – ABSDF released a condolence Message for U Aung Htike
24 September 2016 – ABSDF released a condolence Message for Daw Aung Nu.
12 August 2016 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 66th Karen Martyrs’ Day
23 July 2016 – ABSDF released a condolence message for comrade Nay Aung aka comrade San Htoo
30 March 2016 – ABSDF released a statement regarding president of Myanmar Mr Htin Kyaw speech
12 December 2015 – ABSDF released a statement for 3rd anniversary of KSSU
15 November 2015 – ABSDF released a statement regarding NLD’s victory
17 August 2015 – ABSDF released a statement regarding CEC meeting(MM)
17 August 2015 – ABSDF released a statement regarding CEC meeting(Eng)
10 May 2015 – ABSDF’s message for 79th anniversary of ABFSU
10 Mar, 2015 – ABSDF released a statement on police cracked down on students protest
31 January 2015 – ABSDF released a statement for 66th Karen Revolution Day
Nov 20, 2014 – ABSDF released a statement on Myanmar army attacked KIA academy
Aug 10, 2013 – UPWC and ABSDF signed 12 points Union Level peace agreement (Eng)
Aug 10, 2013 – UPWC and ABSDF signed 12 points Union Level peace agreement (Bur)
Aug 05, 2013 – 4 points agreement ABSDF and UPWC
Jul 30, 2013 – ABSDF’s statement on peace talks
Jan 07, 2013 – War conflict in Kachin state
Jan 07, 2013 – Requesting Buddhist monk
Jan 03, 2013 – Press conference in Yangon
Dec 18, 2012 – The first field trip to Yangon
Mar 31, 2012 – Postpone the Union level meeting date
Feb 09, 2012 – Preliminary meeting
Nov 08, 2011 – Ceasefire and peace process
Reference: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process – A Reference Guide (2021 – 2022)