Three days of slashes between the Kokang rebels and the Burmese caused 47 soldiers to die, 73 were wounded. The national press released the news saying the slashes began on ninth February, near the Chinese borders and thousands of civilians had to escape beyond the borders. According to the newspaper ‘Global New Light of Myanmar’ the rebel of the Chinese ethnic group, Han “ambushed the Tatmadaw troop, meanwhile the government is trying hard reach the ceasefire at a national level”.
Konkang was the armed right-hand of the Burmese Communist Party, which does not exist anymore. It has control over a semi-independent area, according to analysts this area is the base of drug and weapon dealers. According to Myawaddy, the newspaper controlled by soldiers, the rebels have rocket launchers, grenades and antiaircraft defenses. Moreover, the ‘Democratic Voice of Burma’ website, says more than 40 thousand homeless civilian – mostly women, children and old people – escaped to find shelter in China.
Since 2011, the government – led by former General Thein Sein – is trying to reach an agreement with minority groups near the east and north borders of Burma. With some of the ethnic group, a cease-fire agreement was reached, but many areas of the country are still at war – for example, in the north of the country there are the Kachin rebels.
Translation provided by Mary Ann D’Costa