The volatile situation in Myanmar following the 01 February 2021 coup has resulted in increased armed conflict and subsequent population displacement both within the country and across borders, including into Thailand.
Since 17 March, 2,437 Myanmar refugees have crossed into Thailand, according to the Royal Thai Government (RTG). The refugees have sought safety in Umphang and Phop Phra districts, Tak province.
Refugees are sheltered in temporary safety areas (TSA), which are placed under the general jurisdiction of the Royal Thai Army in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) established by the RTG in March 2021.
SITUATION OVERVIEW ON THE THAI MYANMAR BORDER
In Kayah, clashes have been erupting and escalating since the Karen National Union (KNU) sent a letter to the Tatmadaw on 7 March, demanding the Military withdraw from the KNU controlled area – Brigade 6. As a result, 2,437 Myanmar refugees have fled the upsurge of violence in Kayah State into Phop Phra and Umphang Districts, Tak Province, since 17 March 2022. Out of this number, 869 have returned to Myanmar.
Although some refugees have gone back to Myanmar, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) continues to record new arrivals. As of 13 April 2022, the RTG reported that 1,514 Myanmar individuals remain on the Thai side of the border in Tak Province, Thailand.
In Myanmar, the situation continues to deteriorate, with conflicts intensifying and spreading further. In the South-East, intensified daily clashes continued between the Tatmadaw and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Fighting occurs over a large area, with incidents reported in Kayin State’s Hpapun, Kawkareik, Myawaddy, Kyainseikgyi townships, Mon State’s Kyaikhto and Bago Region’s Shwegyin Township. Intensified clashes have also been reported in several areas of the Tanintharyi Region between the Tatmadaw, KNLA, and People’s Defence Force (PDF), including Myeik and Palaw townships. In Kayah State, clashes continue to be reported in Demoso Township. Nearby Pekon Township in Shan State (South) has also been affected by fighting.