Conflicts & War

Armed conflicts sparked by Myanmar coup displace nearly 240,000

Bangkok, Oct 2 (EFE).- Internal conflicts triggered by the military coup in Myanmar have forced nearly 240,000 people out of their homes, sparking a humanitarian crisis in the Southeast Asian country, the United Nations office said Saturday.

Some 75,000 people have fled their homes in Sagaing and Magway regions between Sep.4 and 13, a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Last month, the military allegedly bombed an area under the control of the opponents, causing the death of several civilians and the destruction of houses and properties.

The UN agency said the humanitarian situation in Sagaing and Magway regions of central Myanmar remained dire, with armed clashes reported in several townships since early April.

It said the ongoing hostilities had caused thousands of people to flee their homes.

“It remains difficult to determine the full humanitarian impact, including the exact number of people cumulatively displaced, the number of civilian casualties and the damage to civilian property because humanitarian partners have not been granted access to the regions with travel authorizations pending,” the UN office said.

“Across the country, access to vulnerable people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and protection services remains significantly restricted due to escalating armed clashes, overall insecurity and covid-related restrictions.”

The Myanmar military ousted the civilian government on Feb.1, putting an end to a fledgling democracy.

The coup sparked a wave of an uprising, with the military struggling to bring order across the country.

The Popular Defense Force (PDF) militia, created by the self-styled Myanmar democratic government to fight the military, has intensified attacks on the military after it declared a “defensive war” last month.

Several armed rebel groups linked to the different ethnic minorities have also piled up pressure against the Tatmadaw – as the Myanmar armed forces are known.

The Myanmar junta justifies the coup, citing alleged electoral fraud in the November 2020 elections in which civilian leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory.

The military rulers have since jailed Suu Kyi, who is facing several cases.

International observers have cleared the polls as free and fair.

Since the coup, street protests have continued against the military junta across the country, while civil disobedience has paralyzed the administration and the private sector.

At least 1,114 people have lost their lives in violent repression of protests by security forces. Over 6,600 opponents are in detention, according to the Association for Assistance of Political Prisoners. EFE


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