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Jakarta Post

Humanitarian crisis looms in Kachin conflict

  • Alistair D. B. Cook

Singapore   /   Thu, February 7 2013   /  10:09 am

It has been about two weeks since Myanmar President Thein Sein ordered a ceasefire yet the fighting persists around the Chinese border town of Laiza, home to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) headquarters.

There have been several attempts at cease-fires none of which actually brought an end to the fighting. While President Thein Sein courts favorable international opinion, the recent rebuttal of the US Embassy statement over its deep concern of the war in Kachin state shows the sensitive nature of the situation for the government.

The conflict is showing the limits to the current transition in Myanmar, which won’t make happy reading for potential foreign investors seeking to better understand the country. While the president may issue a cease-fire it is unclear whether he is complicit or irrelevant to the current tatmadaw (army) incursions in Kachin state.

Eith...