Renewed Conflict in Myanmar Forces 26,000 to Flee: UN

According to UN, the latest figures bring the total number of internally displaced people due to conflict between the two sides to approximately 90,000…reports Asian Lite News

More than 26,000 from Myanmar’s Rakhine state have been displaced since Monday after fresh fighting between Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Arakan Army (AA) according to the United Nations, CNN reported on Saturday.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in a statement that the latest figures bring the total number of internally displaced people due to conflict between the two sides to approximately 90,000.

Notably, 11 deaths and over 30 injuries have been reported since an informal ceasefire agreed a year ago broke on November 13, the statement read.

It added that over 100 people have reportedly been detained by the MAF and five by the AA, CNN reported.

Battles between the military and resistance groups have unfolded almost daily across Myanmar since Army General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in February 2021, plunging the country into economic chaos and fresh civil war, according to CNN.

The most recent fighting began when the AA reportedly attacked two border posts near the Maungdaw township, which is near the border with Bangladesh.

The two parties had previously established an informal ceasefire in November 2022, according to the UN body.

It added that there have been reports of MAF shelling in AA-controlled areas and that the military had conducted at least one operation backed by air and naval support.

Most humanitarian activities have been suspended due to the fighting and “virtually all roads and waterways” between Rakhine townships have been blocked, CNN reported citing the statement..

Airstrikes and ground attacks on what the MAF calls “terrorist” targets have occurred regularly since 2021 and killed thousands of civilians, including children, CNN reported citing monitoring groups.

Meanwhile, around 5000 people from Myanmar have entered the Indian state of Mizoram following a fresh airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas along the Indo-Myanmar border.

In the wake of the situation. India has called for the end of violence after an airstrike at the Indo-Myanmar border and emphasised the resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue.

“Our position on the ongoing situation in Myanmar is very clear. We want secession of the violence and the resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue. We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability and democracy in Myanmar,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday in a weekly briefing.

Bagchi further emphasised that, as a result of fighting in the Rikhawdar area, which is opposite Zokhawthar on the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, in the Chin state of Myanmar, “there has been a movement of Myanmar nationals to the Indian side. We are deeply concerned with such incidents close to our border.”

“We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability and democracy in Myanmar,” Bagchi stressed.

According to Reuters, Myanmar’s military junta is facing its biggest test since taking power in a 2021 coup after three ethnic minority forces launched a coordinated offensive in late October, capturing some towns and military posts.

Last week, the military-installed president said that Myanmar was at risk of “breaking apart” because of an ineffective response to the rebellion. As per Reuters, the new combat will be another blow for the junta, which is increasingly stretched amid mounting armed opposition, fuelled by anger over the coup and crackdown. (ANI)

Myanmar Nationals in India Fear Going Back

Myanmar nationals who fled from their country following the recent airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas of Myanmar are now taking shelter in the Zokhawthar area in the Champhai district of Mizoram.

Despite losing everything, the people of Sekan village who are taking refuge in India are hopeful to return to their native country.

Around 500 people from Sekan village crossed over the border and entered the Zokhawthar area, which is the nearest village in Champhai district and shares an unfenced border with Myanmar.

According to the villagers of Sekan village, almost all houses in the village were burnt down by the Myanmar army and they lost everything.

Most of the villagers are marginal farmers and some are construction workers. They have been living in different refugee camps in the Zokhawthar area since September 2021.

Following the recent airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas of Myanmar, the refugees are now afraid to go back to their own country.

Lalremruati, a mother of a 3-month-old child and resident of Sekan village of Chin State, who is now living with her family members at a refugee camp in Zokhawthar, told ANI that she was in China when the military coup happened in her own country.

“My family had faced so many problems. The military came to our village and went one by one, knocked on the doors and asked them to come out. Some people were very scared. The military broke out the doors and let them come out. At that time was very bad. Last year, the military burned down the houses. The second time, they also burnt many houses in our village. Our village is almost finished. We have lost everything,” Lalremruati said.

She further said that, in Zokhawthar, the people of Mizoram, YMA, NGOs are taking care of the refugees.

“They are helping us to stay here. They are providing us with food. Many people in our village are now residing in the Zokhawthar area and some people are living in other parts of Champhai district. We want to go back to our own village. But, there is nothing. People are crying. We have lost everything, we have lost our house. We fear….. we are very sad. All the people cry inside the camps. We have no future anymore. We can’t work here. People of other villages also faced similar problems. Our village was badly affected,” Lalremruati said.

Vanhningcer, another refugee of Sekan village and a mother of two child said that, the present situation in Myanmar is very bad.

“My home was also burnt down. In this situation, we can’t go back to our village. Many people died, there was no work for us and we hadn’t money, so we come to India. We want to go back, but can’t, because my village is no more. We had lost everything, we have no home to live,” Vanhningcer said.

Hrangnothanga, a villager of Sekon village who is now residing along with his family at a refugee camp in the Zokhawthar area, said that he also lost everything and now he is now thinking about the future of his children and his family. (ANI)

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