Burma Democratic Concern has the firm determination to carry on doing until the democracy restore in Burma.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Burma rebels killed in clashes with government troops

Dozens die in battles between Burmese soldiers and Kachin Independence Army, according to state media

Recent battles between Burmese government troops and Kachin ethnic rebels have killed 31 people, according to a state-run newspaper.

The New Light of Myanmar reported on Friday that there had been 11 clashes in the last week of April, including what it said was an attack by rebels of the Kachin Independence Army on border guards. It accused the rebel group of trying to seize the base "to save face for its declining military prestige".

The paper said 29 of the 31 dead were Kachin rebels, while government forces suffered two dead and 15 wounded. A separate report said rebels had blown up three bridges on Wednesday and Thursday.

Kachin spokesmen were not immediately available to comment on the reports, which also claimed the guerrillas had forced 345 villagers to serve as porters.

The 8,000-strong Kachin militia is one of several minority ethnic rebel armies in Burma who say they are fighting for greater autonomy from central government.

Since taking office last year as a military-backed but elected president, Thein Sein has sought to roll back many of the repressive actions of the military regimes that preceded him.

He has focused on democratisation, including reconciliation with the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and her pro-democracy movement, but has also tackled the long-running problem of ethnic rebellions.

Thein Sein's government has agreed ceasefires with several ethnic rebel groups, but peace talks with the Kachin have failed.

Fighting erupted in Kachin state in June last year for the first time since 1994, when an earlier peace deal had been struck.

The Kachin said the government launched an offensive to drive out its forces after they refused to abandon a strategic base near a hydropower plant that is a joint venture with a Chinese company. The rebels fought back, destroying bridges and power pylons in the area, and as many as 70,000 villagers fled from the fighting. http://ping.fm/vHsNu

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