Fighting in Myanmar sends thousands fleeing to Thailand

At least 5,428 civilians, including more than 800 children, crossed the border from Myanmar to seek refuge in Thailand on April 5, according to Thai PBS.

They fled as ethnic rebels from the Karen minority, allied with the pro-democracy People’s Defense Force, to attack two Myanmar government outposts near the border.

Myanmar’s ethnic minorities have been fighting for greater autonomy for decades. The armed conflict in the country escalated after Myanmar’s army overthrew the elected government in February 2021.

Clashes and air strikes along the border have triggered a sporadic migration of Myanmar villagers into Thailand’s border provinces.

An official from the Thai border district told the press, that conflicts on Myanmar’s side of the border continued Thursday. According to the source, gunfire could be heard from the Thai side.

The official estimated the number of refugees currently under the care of Thai authorities to be at least 5,000.

“We are providing shelter, food and water to them on humanitarian grounds,” he said.

“We will wait until the situation cools down. When the clashes stop, we will send them back,” he added.

The Bangkok Post newspaper said more than 1,000 people fled across the border into Thailand at two locations on Thursday.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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