Stability returns in Myawaddy after clashes

The Myanmar Times reported that though calm has returned to Myawaddy, Kayin State, the army is on alert and traffic from other towns is still down from normal levels. After a series of armed clashes, troops searched homes and vehicles for weapons.

Reports that a passenger car and a truck were fired on could not be confirmed.

A Myawaddy resident who requested anonymity said on October 7 that “nearly everything” has returned to normal in the border town.

“The army is here in strength and has imposed tight security. We don’t see ethnic armed groups coming and going as usual,” the resident said.

Trade between and Myawaddy and neighbouring towns has plunged about two thirds, local residents estimated, and cross-border trade with Thailand at Mae Sot was also affected.

The military say only three ethnic armed groups – the Karen National Union, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army and KNU/KNLA Peace Council, are allowed to stay in Myawaddy. Army claims that other armed groups may be in the town could not be confirmed.

Fighting broke out  between Myanmar troops and DKBA on Sept 26. The clashes were among the heaviest in the region since November 2010, when the DKBA temporarily seized control of Myawaddy, sending a flood of residents over the border into neighbouring Mae Sot.