Border trade activities stop due to conflicts in Myanmar’s northern state

Border trade in Muse, Myanmar's northern Shan state bordering China, has stopped due to the outbreak of military conflicts, local media reported Monday.

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Myanmar military

At present, no traffic is allowed to pass through the route near Muse, Kutkai and Lashio townships which are the economic centers of Shan state as the bridges along the route were destroyed.

Local traders are worried about when the traffic will resume as commodities such as fruits to be exported to China will become rotten if they are delayed to be transported, said a local trader.

The over 800-strong forces of the armed groups in alliance, namely the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), began their coordinated assault in divided forces Sunday before dawn with small and heavy weapons which lasted for several hours.

The targeted areas were government military outposts and police stations in Muse, Kutkai, Monekoe, Kyukoke, Phangsang, Manken and Kyinsankyawk (Honang) as well as the Muse border trade gate.

The attacks claimed the lives of eight people including one soldier, three policemen, one militia and three civilians, according to the Information Committee of the State Counselor’s Office.

In addition, a total of 29 people have been injured in the conflicts including nine policemen, two customs officers and 18 civilians.

Of the four border gates with China, Muse gate stands as the largest trade zone with maximum trade value transacting between the two neighbors.

About 80 percent of trade value between China and Myanmar passes through Muse trade gate. The total trade value through Muse border trade gate stood at 3.105 billion U.S. dollars as of Nov. 11, according to the official figures of the Ministry of Commerce. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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