Myanmar refugees leave China as battles ending
Myanmar refugees began heading home from China as fighting between government troops and a rebel militia that left more than 30 people dead appeared to be over.world Updated: Aug 31, 2009 20:02 IST
Myanmar refugees began heading home from China as fighting between government troops and a rebel militia that left more than 30 people dead appeared to be over.
More than 30,000 civilian refugees streamed into China to escape the fighting, which broke out last week after hundreds of Myanmar soldiers moved into Kokang, an ethnically Chinese region in northeastern Myanmar run by a local militia.
The shooting ended Saturday, and hundreds of refugees were transported to the border, where they walked through the gate, clutching bags and blankets.
Yunnan provincial government official Li Hui said about 2,000 refugees had gone back by mid-afternoon.
"We have been assured by the Myanmar side that things are stable on their side," Li said. "Whether they can maintain social stability is really their internal affair, so we do not know much about it."
Many refugees were returning to ruined homes and businesses, and it wasn't clear what percentage of Chinese investors who had moved in large numbers to Kokang in recent years would be going back.
At the border crossing, Chinese businesswoman Li Chunhua wept as she told of seeing looters carry off the entire stock of her clothing store.
"There's nothing left," Li said. "I was told I will not get any compensation. So what can I do?"