Refugees


The Kunlong Township branch of the Myanmar Red Cross Society has helped to rescue 3,163 war refugees from the fighting in the Kokang region within the last week, Daw Shwe Sin Myint, head of the communications department of the NGO, told Mizzima on February 19.
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Over 4,000 refugees have sheltered in Mong-Su monastery, in Lashio Town, Northern Shan State since fighting started on 9th February in and around Laukkai Town, according to the abbot from the monastery.
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Nearly 90,000 civilians in northeastern Myanmar are believed to have fled clashes between troops and ethnic rebels, an official said Wednesday, as sporadic violence hampered efforts to evacuate those still trapped.
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Thousands of people have been forced to flee Burma into the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan following fighting between Burma’s army and insurgents, the Chinese government said, repeating a call for restraint.
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While thousands of civilians poured over the border from Laogai to seek shelter in China this week, several hundred others in the Kokang Special Region – mostly Burmese – have taken refuge in the town of Lashio amid heavy fighting between government forces and Kokang rebels.
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China on Friday urged the Myanmar government and rebels to resolve their dispute peacefully so that refugees who were driven across the Chinese border can go home as soon as possible.
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China has resettled the refugees who poured into the southwestern Yunnan province after government forces clashed with Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in Myanmar’s Kokang region, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying was quoted as saying by Chinanews.com on Tuesday.
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Several thousand residents of the Kokang region in northern Shan State have fled into neighboring China’s Yunnan Province to escape ongoing heavy fighting between the Burma Army and Kokang ethnic rebels, according to a rebel spokesman, who said that the army launched numerous airstrikes in recent days.
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China’s expressed concern on Tuesday about renewed fighting between Myanmar rebels and government forces which forced civilians to cross the border to seek refuge in China.
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Thai police will ask the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to investigate 15 people, including eight local government officials, suspected of forging more than 400 identification cards for stateless migrants.
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Civic organisations have urged the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups not to sell lands where conflict has displaced people from their homes. (more…)

Rakhine Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn has told the state’s Emergency Coordination Centre that a plan to resettle about 170,000 people living in camps for the internally displaced has been delayed, ECC member U Than Tun told Mizzima on August 27.
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The Karen National Union’s, secretary 1, Padoh Saw Thaw Thi Bweh told Karen News that unless the situation in Burma guarantees refugees safety, their dignity and is conducted according to international humanitarian guidelines any return at the moment is not appropriate.
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Two weeks ago, Kyi Htay sneaked back into Mae La refugee camp in the dead of night. Working as a medic in southeastern Burma’s Karen State — and registered as a refugee in the camp for more than 20 years – the 45-year-old has made this journey dozens of times.
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New Zealand’s prime minister says his country will continue to accept Burmese refugees, including those currently living in camps along the Thai-Burma border, despite political reforms in Burma since 2011.
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A little girl balances a bag of donated rice on her head as she begs for her family of eight. Other children play in fetid, trash-clogged pools of water. And at a religious class at a makeshift mosque, more than a third of the children had not eaten that day. Or the day before.
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Refugees from Burma residing in Thai border camps are concerned about the lack of transparency and proper procedures by Thai authorities regarding repatriation, in light of a recent census poll being conducted in the camps.
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When Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha announced on July 11 that the Thai refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border would be emptied, many wondered if there really is new resolve by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to repatriate the 130,000 Myanmar refugees who have been living in Thailand for many years.
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Shan, a 53-year-old farmer, wears a blue-and-white button-down shirt over her patterned longyi, a traditional Burmese wrap. She sits quietly with her family, next to the few belongings they were able to carry when they were forced from their home in April.
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Thai junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has given an assurance that human rights principles will be upheld when the time comes to repatriate tens of thousands of Myanmar from refugee camps, the Bangkok Post reported on July 27.
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