Fresh fighting reported in Kachin State

As a government peace delegation and Kachin rebel leaders prepare for another round of ceasefire talks next week, tensions between troops on the ground remain high, according to a Kachin activist, who said that the sides recently clashed and that the government forces have moved into areas near displaced villagers’ camps, The Irrawaddy reported, quoting a peace activist.

Khon Ja, an activist with the Kachin Peace Network, a Rangoon-based aid organization that assists displaced Kachin civilians, said “a severe clash” occurred near Mung Ding Pa village in Mansi Township, south of the regional town of Bhamo, on Monday evening.

Khon Ja told The Irrawaddy that recent clashes and troop movements were affecting about 2,000 displaced ethnic Kachin villagers, as well as local villagers.

She said the military tensions could affect the upcoming ceasefire talks between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Minister Aung Min’s government peace negotiations team on Oct. 8-10 in the Kachin State capital Myitkyina.