Conflicts & War

Thailand, Myanmar agree to aid displaced people amid escalating conflict

Bangkok, Dec 8 (EFE).- Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to set up a working group to promote humanitarian assistance for those displaced by the escalating conflict in Myanmar, the Thai government said on Friday.

The agreement was announced during a bilateral meeting between Foreign Ministers Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara of Thailand and Than Swe of Myanmar in Beijing, the Thai foreign ministry said in a statement.

The initiative involves extending humanitarian aid to the Myanmarese living along the violence-marred regions near the border between the countries.

“Both sides are ready to establish a task force to discuss the details of implementation,” the statement said.

The increased violence in Myanmar’s border areas has been fueled by an offensive launched by rebels against the military junta since October.

An alliance formed by various armed groups of ethnic minorities has carried out multiple attacks against the army, posing a significant challenge to the military junta, which came to power following the 2021 coup d’état.

A delegation from Myanmar is expected to visit Thailand soon to initiate talks on the proposed initiative. If the initial phase proves successful, the move could involve humanitarian organizations in the future.

“Thailand believes that scaling up humanitarian assistance along the Thai-Myanmar border will help address many concerns and respond to the aspirations of the international community,” the statement said.

The statement noted that the measure “is in line with the implementation of ASEAN’s five-point consensus” agreed upon by the regional bloc to mitigate the impacts of the conflict.

“It is Thailand’s hope that this initiative will lead to constructive engagement between Myanmar and ASEAN and between Myanmar and the international community,” said the statement.

According to United Nations data, over half a million Burmese have been displaced since the onset of the rebel offensive.

The total number of displaced people since the coup on Feb. 1, 2021, which overthrew the elected government of now jailed leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, surpasses two million. EFE

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