Beijing urges ceasefire after deadly Myanmar border clashes

China today condemned fighting on its border between Myanmar forces and ethnic rebels that has left 19 dead, mostly civilians.

Published: 13th May 2018 01:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2018 01:03 PM   |  A+A-

An injured man sits inside a vehicle in Muse, northern Shan state, Myanmar Saturday, May 12, 2018. Myanmar officials say an ethnic rebel group has launched an attack against the country’s military in the northern town, causing casualties. (AP)

By PTI

YANGON: China today condemned fighting on its border between Myanmar forces and ethnic rebels that has left 19 dead, mostly civilians, in some of the worst violence to rattle the restive frontier in recent years.

The fighting erupted yesterday when ethnic-minority insurgent groups, who are locked in a long-running battle with the Myanmar state, attacked security posts around Muse, a border town and trade hub in northeastern Shan state.

A local resident told AFP she heard gunfire through the night until early Sunday morning, with fear gripping a town that lives at the mercy of both government militias and ethnic armies fighting for more autonomy.

"We heard shooting the whole night until this morning around 6:00 am. We do not know what was going on and who was fighting," said Muse resident Aye Aye.

Yesterday's carnage, which also left at least 27 injured, was one of the bloodiest days in recent years in a long-running rebellion that is separate from the Rohingya crisis to the west.

Fighting in the remote region in early 2017 sent more 20,000 Myanmar refugees scrambling across the border into China's Yunnan province, raising tensions.

Today, the Chinese embassy in Yangon condemned the clashes and said it had urged "relevant parties" to reach an immediate ceasefire.

The violence "made people from the Myanmar side flee across the Chinese border, and stray bullets have entered into Chinese territory", the statement added.

Observers believe Beijing holds significant sway over the ethnic rebels near its border and is a key player in a faltering peace process steered by Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi placed the peace bid -- an effort to extinguish around two dozen complicated and long-running ethnic conflicts across the country -- at the top of her agenda after she was elected to office in landmark 2015 elections.

But the effort has been severely hampered by a surge in fighting between Myanmar security forces and an alliance of rebel groups in northeastern Shan and Kachin states.

Saturday's attacks were blamed on the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), which claimed responsibility for operation and apologised for the civilian deaths.

Suu Kyi, the first civilian leader of the former junta-run country in decades, lacks control over security policy and the still-powerful military, which has retained key government posts in a delicate power-sharing arrangement.

 

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp