Thousands flee Myanmar airstrikes, complicating crisis


Thai troopers started sending again a number of the hundreds of people that have fled a sequence of airstrikes by the navy in neighboring Myanmar, individuals aware of the matter mentioned Monday.

But Thai officers denied that because the insecurity on the border added a brand new dimension to an already risky crisis set off by a coup in Myanmar.

The weekend strikes, which despatched ethnic Karen individuals searching for security in Thailand, represented one other escalation within the violent crackdown by Myanmar’s junta on protests of its February 1 takeover.

On Saturday, greater than 100 individuals had been killed in and round demonstrations all through the nation – the bloodiest single day for the reason that takeover.

The violence by the Myanmar navy – each on the border and in cities across the nation – raised the query of whether or not the worldwide group would reply extra forcefully than it has up to now to a coup that ousted the federal government led by Aung San Suu Kyi and reversed years of progress towards democracy.

Britain referred to as for a closed assembly of the U.N. Security Council which might be held Wednesday afternoon, council diplomats mentioned forward of an official announcement.

The council has condemned the violence and referred to as for a restoration of democracy, however has not but thought of doable sanctions towards the navy, which might require assist or an abstention by Myanmar’s neighbour and pal China.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres referred to as the surge in killings by the navy on Armed Forces Day “absolutely horrendous,” and urged larger unity and dedication by the worldwide group to place strain on the coup leaders to reverse course and return to “a serious democratic transition.”

“My message to the military is very simple: Stop the killing. Stop the repression of the demonstrations. Release the political prisoners, and return power to those that have really the right to exercise it,” he instructed reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Guterres mentioned he is very nervous that many tendencies look irreversible, “but hope is the last thing we can give up on.”

In response to stories of individuals fleeing the airstrikes, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha had mentioned earlier Monday that the nation did not need “mass migration” however that it was getting ready for an inflow of individuals and would take human rights points into consideration.

But later, three individuals with information of the matter mentioned Thai troopers had begun to pressure individuals to return to Myanmar.

“They told them it was safe to go back even though it is not safe. They were afraid to go back but they had no choice,” mentioned a spokesperson for the Karen Peace Support Network, a gaggle of Karen civil society organizations in Myanmar.

Two different individuals confirmed that refugees had been being despatched again to Myanmar.

All three spoke on situation of anonymity due to the delicate nature of the problem.

A spokesman for Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nevertheless, mentioned claims that some Karen had been being pressured to return to Myanmar had been “inaccurate.”

“Those reports cite information solely from non-official sources without confirming the facts from official sources on the ground. … In fact, the Thai authorities will continue to look after those on the Thai side while assessing the evolving situation and the needs on the ground,” Tanee Sangrat wrote in a press release.

In one border space, Thai troopers refused to let journalists or curious locals strategy or communicate to those that had fled.

Myanmar plane carried out three strikes in a single day Sunday, in line with Dave Eubank, a member of the Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian reduction company that delivers medical and different help to villagers. The strikes severely injured one baby however precipitated no obvious fatalities, he mentioned.

Earlier strikes had despatched about 2,500 individuals into northern Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and left a minimum of 4 individuals useless and plenty of wounded, in line with the company.

One witness described a “chaotic scene” as he watched a whole bunch of individuals cross the river border Sunday into Mae Hong Son.

“There were many children and women. It seemed like they had basic supplies to sustain themselves, but I don’t know how long they can last without help,” mentioned La Rakpaoprai, who buys snacks and different items within the mountainous border village of Mae Sakoep and sells them in distant areas.

Video shot Sunday confirmed a gaggle of villagers, together with many younger youngsters, resting in a forest clearing inside Myanmar after fleeing their properties.

They carried their possessions in bundles and baskets. In addition to those that have fled to Thailand, an estimated 10,000 individuals are believed to be displaced inside Myanmar’s northern Karen state, in line with the Free Burma Rangers.

The bombings could have been in retaliation for a reported assault by the Karen National Liberation Army through which they claimed to have captured a Myanmar authorities navy outpost on Saturday morning. The group is combating for larger autonomy for the Karen individuals.

According to Thoolei News, a web based website that carries official info from the Karen National Union, eight authorities troopers had been captured and 10 had been killed. The report mentioned one Karen guerrilla died.




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