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Is Kokang ready for a November election?

The guns have fallen silent in Laogai, the battle-scared capital of northern Shan State’s Kokang region.

But as Burma’s pivotal upcoming election quickly approaches, the shadow of a vicious war lingers over the town.

Since February, armed conflict has raged between government forces and an ethnic Kokang militia known as the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army.

Ethnic Burmese who were evacuated south to Lashio in the early days of the war have come back, and are beginning to rebuild their lives.

But they say they know nothing about the fast-approaching election.

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Meanwhile, tens of thousands of ethnic Kokang refugees have not yet returned from camps across the Chinese border, and will not vote at all.

DVB speaks to some returning residents about conditions in the town ahead of the campaign period.

 

Read more about the Kokang conflict

 

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