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Fresh tension in northernmost state of Myanmar; thousands displaced

Kachin: Thousands of people have fled as a result of fighting between the army and ethnic Kachin rebels in Myanmar’s northernmost state. According to AFP, Mark Cutts, the head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that thousands have been displaced and there are fears that many people remain trapped in conflict-stricken areas, near the border with China. He expressed concern over the safety of civilians; especially pregnant women, the elderly, small children and people with disabilities.

It must be recalled that racist violence erupted last year in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and thousands of Muslims were killed. Now the renewed fighting between the army and ethnic Kachin rebels has created tension in Myanmar’s northernmost state.

Some 4,000 people have been driven from their homes since early April, according to the UN. In addition to the Rohingya crisis in western Myanmar (also known as Burma), the country’s north has seen clashes involving other ethnic minorities. The Kachin, who are mostly Christian, have fought for greater autonomy in this predominantly Buddhist nation since 1961.

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