United Nations Holds Talks With Mae Hong Son Authorities To Help Karen Refugees

Karen Villages Flee Airstrikes

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has held talks with authorities in Mae Hong Son to find ways to help more than 2,000 Karen refugees who crossed the Salween River into Thailand to flee fighting between the KNU (Karen National Union) and Myanmar military.

Mae Hong Son governor, Sitthichai Jindaluang, said he met Katsunori Koike, the UNHCR’s protection officer on Thursday along with other senior provincial officials to discuss ways to assist the refugees.

“The UNHCR representative was deeply concerned about the refugees and we told him that we have already provided them with temporary shelters, public health assistance, food, medicine, and other necessities,” he said.

Mr Koike was told the Defence Ministry had deployed troops to provide security along the Thai-Myanmar border while border patrol police were assigned to take care of the refugees.

If the border situation gets worse, the refugees would be relocated to a shelter about 1-2km from the border.

There they would be taken care of by provincial staff and non-governmental organisations, Mr Jindaluang said.

Fighting between the KNU and the Myanmar military has so far forced about 2,160 Karen to flee into Thailand.