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Yunnan prepares to receive possible Kachin refugees

By Qiu Yongzheng, Liu Chang in Nabang and Li Cong in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-14 0:43:01

The local government of Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, had planned four camps to receive refugees from the northern Kachin state of Myanmar if the conflict there between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Myanmar government worsens.

Gong Jianrong, deputy director of the publicity department of Yingjiang county in Dehong, told the Global Times on Saturday that they have prepared emergency supplies in the camps.

Gong added that the camps, which are east of the frontier village of Nabang, are capable of receiving over 10,000 refugees.

The conflict in Kachin has brought economic losses to local people in both Nabang village in China and Laiza village in Myanmar. The two villages, separated by a river, used to have frequent exchanges.

"All the businesspeople from Nabang have run away," said a trader in Laiza, adding that her own business had also come to a halt in the conflict-torn state. 

A senior source from the KIA told the Global Times on Friday that a military helicopter from the Myitkyina air force base was shot down by KIA with "new weapons" while it was undertaking a military mission with another three copters.

But the government announced that the helicopter made an emergency landing into a forest due to engine failure, 48 kilometers south of the state's capital Myitkyina.

Two air force pilots and one sergeant died in the accident. Analysts said Kachin might see heavier military attacks after the accident, which made the government "lose face" before international society.

Posted in: Diplomacy