Clashes in Myanmar threaten rebel peace bid

Agence France-Presse . Yangon

At least eight people have been killed and thousands displaced by clashes in southeast Myanmar, rebels and border forces said Monday, violence that threatens to undercut the new government’s push for peace.
Fighting broke out this month between government troops and an ethnic rebel splinter group known as the DKBA in Karen state, near the border with Thailand.
More than 4,000 people have fled the violence so far.
Video footage sent to AFP showed dozens of women and children packed into a monastery, some handing out food packages from aid groups while others rifled through piles of donated clothing.
The clashes come just weeks after Aung San Suu Kyi’s government held a landmark summit aimed at ending almost seven decades of ethnic insurgencies.
The Nobel laureate has made brokering peace with the patchwork of armed minorities fighting the state a priority.
But ongoing fighting in Kachin and Shan states overshadowed the talks and ending the complex, protracted conflicts is expected to take years.
The fresh fighting further south adds to the uncertainty.
An officer from the DKBA, who asked not to be named, said that four of their soldiers had been killed and five wounded in recent days.

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