Myanmar-China Border Strikes Continue
Human Rights Researchers Seek Accountability
Myanmar's military launched a second day of air strikes on Wednesday, targeting territory controlled by an ethnic armed group near the border with China, according to a spokesman for the rebels, the United States government-linked news outlet Voice of America reported on November 1. The bombing wore on, The Hindu reported early on November 2.
As the conflcit escalations between Myanmar and China continue, researchers told the Associated Press that they hoped tracking senior Myanmar military officials can "ascertain" human right abuses responsibility.
The military's actions come as they continue to battle an alliance of armed groups in a northern region that is not only strategically significant but also home to Chinese investments.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) spokesman, Colonel Naw Bu, confirmed that a military jet struck a site near the town of Laiza in Kachin state at 12:45 pm local time. No details were immediately available regarding casualties from this latest strike. However, it follows a previous day's attack when a jet dropped three bombs on Laiza, resulting in the death of one person and the injury of twelve others.
According to the junta-controlled Global Light of New Myanmar newspaper, soldiers and officers were killed on Tuesday when the KIA attempted to seize a major road in Kachin state. The military responded by carrying out what they described as an "appropriate counterattack." The military claims that the "neighboring country had been warned in advance" about their actions.
In the neighboring northern Shan state, thousands of individuals have reportedly been displaced after three other ethnic armed groups launched coordinated attacks on the military last Friday. Shan state is of particular significance due to its oil and gas pipelines that supply China, as well as a planned billion-dollar rail link that forms part of Beijing's Belt and Road global infrastructure project.
China's minister for public security met with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw, for a second day of talks with top junta officials regarding the ongoing clashes. The discussions centered around the attacks carried out by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), an ethnic armed group that targeted security camps in an attempt to destabilize peace and stability in the region.
The military's continued air strikes and the clashes with various ethnic armed groups have put unprecedented pressure on the junta. The conflict not only threatens the security and stability of the region but also raises concerns about the impact on Chinese investments and infrastructure projects in Myanmar.
As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how the military will respond to the growing challenges they face and how neighboring countries, especially China, will navigate their involvement in the conflict. The developments in Myanmar have far-reaching implications, both locally and internationally, and will continue to be closely monitored by regional and global stakeholders.