Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin and Myanmar services have had extensive coverage of the four months of hostilities between Burma’s ethnic Kokang group and Burmese forces. The ethnic group declared a unilateral cease-fire with forces on Thursday in a bid to bring stability to the region and prevent the clashes from disrupting general elections scheduled for later this year, an official with the group said.
Since the fighting began in February in northern Shan state, RFA has updated audiences on both sides of the China-Burma border. Clashes since then have resulted in hundreds of deaths and displaced tens of thousands of residents, many of whom fled over the border into China.
RFA reported that on Tuesday, leaders of Burma’s ethnic groups amended a draft nationwide cease-fire accord during an eight-day summit at Karen National Union (KNU) headquarters. This was after a special 15-member team as formed to discuss chances and supplements to the document, an official who was appointed head of the team said. The cease-fire was announced two days later.
Official Chinese media have focused on the danger of increased cross-border stability in the region, rather than commenting on the conflict itself.