Civilians flee to Myanmar-China border town as ethnic armed forces clash with junta to seize major trade hub

The Brotherhood Alliance challenges the military over control of the 105-Mile Trade Zone outside Muse, northern Shan State

Hundreds of people were recently displaced to the Shan-China border town of Muse after several days of intense clashes between the military and the ethnic armed forces that make up the Brotherhood Alliance near a major transnational commercial hub.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Arakan Army have been attempting to seize the massive 105-Mile Trade Zone from the junta since November 26. It is located six miles east of Muse.

Muse-based social welfare groups rescued 600 civilians trapped near the site on November 29 and 30, according to one member, who said that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) were taken to locations including two monasteries in the city.

As of December 1, locals said that the number of IDPs was on the rise, but there were limited places to house them. 

“They are still contacting social welfare groups from locations where they can get mobile phone service, and asking that they be rescued,” a Muse resident said. Phone and internet service has been cut off around the 105 Mile Trade Zone but continues to work in the city of Muse, where a 6pm until 6am curfew remains in place, and where prices of staple foods like rice continue to rise amid shortages. 

A 26-year-old displaced woman was killed on November 30 when Myanmar army soldiers reportedly opened fire on a vehicle belonging to a local charity group driving past the trade zone.

The Brotherhood Alliance recently seized a junta base at the Kyin San Kyawt border crossing—one of five in the 105-Mile Trade Zone—as well as other military camps in the vicinity of Muse.

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