REPORTS FROM THE border with Myanmar say that Kachin refugees fleeing recent fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Myanmar government forces are facing shortages of food and aid in China. This Bystander hears that conditions in the makeshift camps are poor with UN relief officials not being allowed to cross to the Chinese side. This is not the first time refugee conditions have been reported to be poor. China provides safe haven for the refugees but does not really want them there.
At least 3,000 refugees have been displaced since mid-April when Myanmar government forces stepped up their offensive operations against the KIA in Kachin and the northern Shan states. The Myanmar government has not so far been able to reach a peace agreement with the Kachins as it has with nine of the eleven armed ethnic groups in the country that also seek greater autonomy.