An offensive by the Burmese military against ethnic rebels from the Kachin Independence Army in northern Kachin State has spilled over the Sino-Burma border. Three artillery shells fell in Yunnan province, just across the border from the town of Laiza in Kachin State.
There were no casualties but Chinese Foreign Ministry officials made representations to their Burmese counterparts and demanded that “immediately take effective measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.”
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying confirmed that “three bombs dropped inside China on the evening of Dec. 30, 2012 during the armed conflicts between the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army.”
Burmese forces moved against Kachin rebels after a 17-year ceasefire between the sides broke down after Kachin groups pushed for more autonomy from Rangoon. Around 100,000 civilians have been displaced since the conflict broke out, many of them taking refuge in camps on the Sino-Burma border.
The government has prevented international aid groups from helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) in rebel-held territory, and the United Nations has been unable to investigate the latest conditions on the ground.
Burmese forces have a history of extreme human rights abuses, including mass rape and torture, in their campaigns against the numerous ethnic minority groups in the country.