One of the seven ethnic states of Myanmar. It is located in the south-east of the country, on the border with Thailand.
The titular ethnic group - Karenni people (Red Karens) - make up about 56% of the state's population. Karenni people are quite similar to the Karen, as they were formed into a separate ethnic group in the colonial period. They differ from the main ethnic group of the country (Burmese) in religion. During the British Empire rule, Red Karens were converted to Christianity, but some of them profess Buddhism.
The process of the formation of an autonomous state is connected with the attainment of independence by Burma. Although unlike other ethnic groups, they did not enter into the Panglong agreement of 1947, the constitution adopted in the same year granted them regional autonomy.
During the period of military governments in Myanmar, the balance was violated, and for many decades the armed conflict between insurgent Red Karens organizations and the central government continued. In recent decades, in the context of the democratization process, attempts to restore balance in relations among ethnic groups have intensified. In 2016, with the aim of resolving the contradictions, the "The Union Peace Conference - 21st Century Panglong" began its work.