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Thailand vows to assist Myanmar refugees

BANGKOK: The Thai government has promised to look after all Myanmar refugees who flee to Mae Sot district of Tak province amid ongoing fighting between Myanmar’s armed forces and ethnic Karen rebels.

Myanmarviolence
By National News Bureau of Thailand

Monday 27 December 2021, 10:39AM


Thailand has already seen an influx of 90,000 refugees from the neighbouring country. Photo: NNT

Thailand has already seen an influx of 90,000 refugees from the neighbouring country. Photo: NNT

Describing the move as a humanitarian gesture, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said he has instructed officials to prepare to provide the refugees with medical aid and food supplies, reports state news agency NNT.

He noted, however, that no new refugee centres will be set up as all refugees will have to return to Myanmar once the situation improves. Thailand has already seen an influx of 90,000 refugees from the neighbouring country.

Reports also indicate that villages along the Thai-Myanmar border in Mae Sot have been caught in the range of mortar fire during intense clashes between Myanmar security forces and rebel groups.

There are no plans to evacuate Thais from affected areas at this time, as the government works to ensure the conflict does not spill into Thailand.

The Friends Without Borders Foundation meanwhile released a statement urging the Thai government to provide shelter for Myanmar refugees and work with local activists and humanitarian groups to render assistance.

The fighting escalated last Thursday when Myanmar forces conducted aerial bombardments against villages in Myanmar’s Myawaddy province, located across from Ban Don Chai Rim Moei village in Mae Sot district.

Officials in Mae Sot district have since stepped up security measures along the border, as well as dispatched field doctors to help injured refugees under strict disease prevention protocols.

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