Burma-Myanmar: Clashes between army and ethnic armed groups in Shan State force thousands of people from their homes
An army helicopter buzzes overhead and ambulances travel up wet empty roads in Myanmar’s northeast, ferrying aid to thousands of residents displaced by fresh clashes between ethnic armed groups and the military.
Burnt-out cars and bullet casings lie along the road to Shan State’s Kutkai: a town ringed by mountains, poppy fields, and a patchwork of ethnic armed groups fighting for more autonomy and control over land and resources.
“We are still afraid to go back home,” Ba Yi, a 63-year-old former teacher, told AFP while sheltering in a monastery.
“Every time I hear explosions, I want to go away.”
The area near the Chinese border has been riven by armed conflict for decades, and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to secure peace when she took office in 2016.