Thousands cross from Myanmar to China amid border violence

Camille Francis
March 10, 2017

At least 30 people are dead after a day of intense fighting between Myanmar's security forces and ethnic rebels in the town of Laukkai in northern Shan state, government officials reported Monday evening.

A hotel worker in the Chinese town of Nan San said many people from Myanmar were looking for a place to stay, and for food.

At least 36 people were killed after Monday's audacious pre-dawn raid by the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) on police and military posts at Laukkai, the capital of the Kokang region.

Geng further added that the situation in Northern Myanmar concerns peace and tranquillity in the border areas between China and Myanmar.

Following closely the military conflict at the border area of China- Myanmar in the Kokang region, China on Tuesday urges the concerned parties to maintain conducive to peace.

China on Tuesday called for an immediate cease-fire between the two sides and urged the use of peaceful means to resolve differences.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said at a regular press briefing on Thursday that the Myanmar residents are being offered humanitarian assistance "to temporarily avoid the war".

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The renewed clashes are said to have caused a huge blow to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's chief goal of reaching a peace deal with ethnic minorities in the country.

Khu Oo Reh, leader of the UNFC delegation, said Friday that if Myanmar's powerful military agreed to their nine-point proposal, the rebel alliance would sign the 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) - inked by the previous quasi-civilian government and eight out of the 15 groups invited.

But fighting has surged since a year ago as the army clashes with several different ethnic armed groups, undermining a government bid to forge peace.

The statement the commander's office issued Tuesday said the Kokang and other ethnic rebel groups that have not yet signed cease-fire pacts were still welcome to take part in a peace conference later this month if they abandon armed struggle.

"Residents in town are fleeing", an army officer told AFP.

Observers believe Beijing holds some sway over the ethnic fighters and has a key role to play in peace talks that Myanmar's de facto leader Ms Suu Kyi has tried to revive since coming to power past year.

"In the Laukai attack, the Tatmadaw [military] could seize 20 burnt bodies of the insurgent group, 13 kinds of weapons including two RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] and related ammunition", said a statement published by the army-run Myawady newspaper.

Other reports by My Hot News

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