25) Furthermore, the opium bans launched by the MNDAA in 2002 and the UWSA in 2005 appear to have become unsustainable in light of the region's extreme poverty, households' heavy reliance on the revenue derived from opium cultivation and the inadequacy of alternative development programmes, especially in light of falling prices for other export goods such as rubber and teak.
45) Following the CPB's collapse in 1989 Lin maintained close links with the Kokang Commanders in the MNDAA, a relationship that enabled him to establish 'the best organized drug syndicate in northern Burma'.
However, former insurgent groups continue to pose a serious threat especially those, such as the UWSA and MNDAA, that have retained large, well-equipped armies and that are determined to maintain their autonomy.
Whilst organisations, such as the DKBA, that accepted the SPDC's demands and converted themselves into pro-government militias have retained lucrative resource concessions and continue to enjoy government complicity in their illicit activities, pressure against the MNDAA, the UWSA and the Kachin Independence Army (the military wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation or KIO), which all rejected the BGF proposals, has been growing.
In August 2009 the Burmese Army's attack on the MNDAA in the Kokang's heartlands on the Sino-Burmese border (which saw almost 40,000 civilians flee to China) was driven by a desire to heighten internal divisions within the MNDAA leadership regarding whether or not to accept the BGF proposal and to warn what would happen if they did not.
A government soldier said the MNDAA carried out the attack.
The MNDAA was formerly part of the Communist Party of Burma, a powerful Chinese-backed guerrilla force that battled the Myanmar government before splintering in 1989.
Members of two other rebel groups, the Arakan Army and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, have joined the MNDAA in the fighting against government troops, said Bertil Lintner, an author and expert on the region.
The Irrawaddy, an online website that covers Myanmar news, reported Thursday that ''several skirmishes'' had broken out between Myanmar's army and a combined force of insurgents from the MNDAA
and two other groups in the alliance -- the National Democratic Alliance Army, which is commonly known as the Mong La group, and the United Wa State Army, which is the most heavily armed group along the Chinese border.