Reports of ferocious fighting in Burma’s restive Kokang region this week have put the government death toll at 21.
A new surge in fighting has been observed between government forces and Kokang troops close to the China-Burma border, according to a Kokang spokesperson.
Ethnic group leaders have agreed to hold a conference of armed ethnic groups following the agreement of a draft Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).
Allies of the MNDAA dismiss the allegations as false flags, and counter-accuse Naypyidaw of whipping up nationalist sentiment among the Burmese public.
Two Arakan-based armed groups, Democratic Party of Arakan (DPA) and National United Party of Arakan (NUPA), have been accepted by the Burmese government to join the nationwide peace process.