Skip to comments.Fleeing Battle, Myanmar Refugees Head to China
Posted on 08/28/2009 11:48:56 PM PDT by neverdem
BANGKOK After two decades of relative calm in northern Myanmar, fighting has broken out between the central government and upland ethnic groups, sending tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into China and threatening a fragile patchwork of cease-fire agreements that ended decades of civil war.
Skip to next paragraph Related Times Topics: MyanmarThe fighting began between soldiers from the Kokang minority group and government troops, but it broadened to involve at least two more groups, the Wa and the Kachin. All three groups oppose the central government.
The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Thursday that refugees were fleeing into Yunnan Province, which borders Myanmars Shan State, where the fighting was. An estimate by the U.S. Campaign for Burma, a nongovernmental advocacy group that uses the old name for Myanmar, put the number of refugees at about 10,000. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it had received...
Civil war raged through much of the country after it gained its independence from Britain in 1948, and Myanmar still does not control all of its borders...
Various ethnic groups control large pockets of territory in the northern borderland areas and risk losing their control over the lucrative trade in timber, jade, gemstones and, in some cases, heroin and methamphetamine.
The Kokang are allied with the most heavily armed group along the Chinese border, the United Wa State Army, which has about 20,000 soldiers and is known to have large-caliber weapons, including field artillery and antitank missiles.
Farther north, the Kachin Independence Army has about 4,000 men under arms.
This Kokang fighting is not only a Kokang problem it has become a wider issue, said Brang Lai, a local official in Laiza, a town on the Chinese border controlled by the Kachin Independence Organization...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
the Kachins are predominantly Christian and were faithful allies of the US against Japan during WWII.
The fighting began between soldiers from the Kokang minority group and government troops, but it broadened to involve at least two more groups, the Wa and the Kachin. All three groups oppose the central government.
Is this sarcasm? If not, let me point out that the British brought some respite to Burma's minority groups from oppression by majority Burmese in the Burmese empire. Once Albion's shield was withdrawn, of course, it was open season on these minority groups again.
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