Thousands flee clashes between army, ethnic insurgents in N. Myanmar – UN

Thousands of people have fled renewed fighting between Myanmar’s army and ethnic insurgents in the country’s remote north, according to a United Nations official. More than 4,000 people have been displaced in the northernmost state of Kachin near the border with China in the last three weeks, Mark Cutts, head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told AFP late Friday. The numbers do not include 15,000 people who have fled since the beginning of the year, and upwards of 90,000 residing in IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in both Kachin and Shan states since a ceasefire between the government and the powerful Kachin Independence Army broke down in 2011. The Kachin, who mostly live in the northernmost state of the same name, make up some of the more than six percent of Christians in Myanmar. This is the second largest religious group after Buddhists.