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Over 5,800 Myanmar inhabitants return to Kokang
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Some 2,938 more Myanmar border inhabitants returned to Kokang ethnic region on Tuesday, the third day after the end of the fighting in the northeastern Shan State Special Region-1 last Saturday, bringing the total of the returnees to their homes to 5,811 as of Tuesday, the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Wednesday.

The Kokang local people came back to Laukkai, the capital of the region, through Yanlonkyaing and Chinshwehaw border gates, the report said.

A total of 37,000 Kokang local inhabitants were officially estimated to have fled last week's days of fightings in the Kokang region to Yunnan province, southwest of China, where they were taken care by the Yunnan provincial government on humanitarian grounds.

The runaway border inhabitants started to return homes on Monday, a day after the Myanmar government announced on Sunday night that it was able to restore peace in the region on Saturday (Aug. 29) and it is "now in a stable condition and local administrative machinery has become normal".

The newly-formed "Kokang Region Provisional Leading Committee" in Laukkai, led by the government, called on the out-fleeing members of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) to return to the legal fold, assuring them "personal safety under law".

The Kokang ethnic armed group ceasefired with the government on March 21, 1989 but was allowed to retain arms and establish the northern Shan state special region-1, conditionally enjoying self- administration to a certain extent.

The government said it recognized the armed group's cooperation with it for having gained far more development than that in the past in the region after the group returned to the legal fold in 1989.

Kokang connects China's Zhen Kung, Geng Ma, Meng Ding and Long Ling areas, having a population of about 150,000.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2009)

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- Myanmar refugees begin to return home
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- Situation in Myanmar's Kokang region remains tense