Myanmar refugees turned away – BBC News

now i've got several significant developments to bring you on the coup in myanmar first of all around 2000 refugees have been turned back by thailand here's the thai prime minister explaining that some villagers arrived and we asked what problems there were and they said there weren't any we then said can you go back first we didn't point any guns in their faces we shook their hands and even wish them well that's humanitarian well up until now most of the resistance to the coup has come from the civil disobedience movement across the country now though there is also resistance from armed ethnic groups who are becoming involved too one of the biggest is in the karan national union and over the weekend the burmese military carried out airstrikes against this group here in the territory that it controls in current states as you can see the state sits on myanmar's border with thailand well this was the aftermath of the airstrikes these were the first aerial attacks in the area for 20 years this footage was sent to us by an aid group called free burma rangers which works inside myanmar and this is its spokesperson many of these airstrikes were conducted at night which was a capability the bomber army did not have before they've done airstrikes in kachin state and arkhan state but we've not seen night strikes so this is a new capability it was a hit at night in the de puno valley of the younslin river which is north of papuan in northern karen state and the whole valley now is hiding that's 5 000 people hiding all together now we have 12 000 people displaced then the planes came and went along the thai burma border bombing korean places just on the burma side of the border and then this is what happened next ethnic current families went into hiding some of them even took shelter in caves as you can see others took boats across the soween river to thailand reports suggest that injured people were allowed into thailand here they are receiving some medical help but most people were pushed back we're also told that those who couldn't cross the river were sent to a displacement camp on the myanmar side of the border then there's this footage it appears to show thai border guards putting up barriers to keep people away a local thai official has told reuters the army was sending most burmese back as it deemed the situation over the border to be safe although the people fleeing that dispute that let's hear from one of them the burmese army is living all around us we don't want this anymore the soldiers live close by and give us trouble all the time well next that's here from the bbc's jonathan head on the thai border with myanmar well the number of armed men we're seeing here tells you that this is now a very tense border with myanmar and the karen people who've been coming in here many of them injured of course for years have known something that young activists in the cities of myanmar are now learning it firsthand that the myanmar military far from defending people wages war against them with pitiless savagery crushing them as enemies but many of those people were turned back by thailand which is insisting it's respecting the human rights of refugees let's see more on this issue from my colleague nope wong annan from bbc thai was stop uh in the jungle by security personnel with the barbed wires and trying to prevent them from coming further into thailand so yes they're being kind of like pushed back in a way that they can be in certain area and it's kind of like a deterrence not to let too many of them coming in oh and then once this forecast has been released the government has to come and say no we're not we're not trying to push them back when we try we welcome them we let them in but we have our professional ways of dealing with these people well burmese refugees are also trying to enter india and that led to a crackdown there too we're told the border state of manipur had originally told officials to politely turn away new arrivals it's since reversed that order with more on that is the bbc's anderson rajan in delhi see what the authorities did was they were watching what was happening in the neighboring northeastern indian state of mizoram where hundreds of people from myanmar they have already taken refuge and the government of india is little bit concerned because of what could it mean for its relations with the myanmar government at the moment the military junta there now in the last few days there were reports that you know many myanmar nationals were trying to flee the violence there and one doctor was quoted as a saying by the reuters news agency that three people had been admitted to your hospital in manipur with the gunshot wounds so because it isn't the border is not very clearly demarcated you know you have lots of you know forested areas and it is very easy i've been to this border for example in mori in manipur once you move away from the regular border crossing it is like you don't know where you are whether you are in myanmar or in india so it is easy for these people to cross into manipur now many armed groups in myanmar have spent decades fighting the military for greater control of their areas and now some of these groups are helping the anti-coup movement let's hear again from david eubank from the free burma rangers there's a new feeling from the bermans in the cities going we had no idea so sorry we just focused on our lives the suffering you ethnics had under the government now we know please help us and the ethnic people are saying yes we will help although we can barely stop the burma army ourselves the ethnic armies have done two things they've sent in food money for food and medicine to the cities and protesters and some of the targeted leaders of the protesters or the nld or the crph some of those leaders the ethnics themselves have helped smuggle out the safety but the ethnic army is similar to the protesters they don't have the power to really stop the burma army but they're trying to work together right now though there's no large international support that gives them the power they need to make a huge difference so it's each per each group is fighting for their lives now as you're listening to all of this of course there are many concerns that myanmar could descend into a multi-faceted conflict in the past few hours the karen ethnic group has warned that burmese ground troops are advancing on its territory and has called for international help to stop what it's calling an onslaught and the broader context here is the armed ethnic groups in myanmar control about a third of the country let's learn more about that with the help of another colleague sir wintan from bbc burmese who's live with us from london thank you for for joining us just first of all help us understand the extent to which these ethnic groups and their armed wings are able to control parts of myanmar you know since the um the independence in 1945 then myanmar has experienced this kind of civil war you know a little bit of history myanmar is made up of major different ethnic groups you know there are over 100 of ethnic groups are living in myanmar korean we just talked about is one of them one of the biggest groups they all have their own army they are calling for more autonomy and from the central government they have been waging this uh war against the central government for over seven decades but in recent years that uh the government had made ceasefire agreement with different ethnic groups there are still groups which haven't signed any ceasefire agreement with the central government karen national union which we were talking about is one of them they have signed it but on saturday they overran a military outpost and then uh cease that military outpost and kill a few of the soldiers and capture a few of them so military launch retaliatory attacks you know we talked about this area bombardment and now just are much into what's those kind of current national union pushing the refugees towards the thai burma border and so in how easy is this alliance between the protesters in the city against the coups and these ethnic armed groups because these groups after all are looking for more autonomy from the from the central government and some of these protesters in the cities want to give power back to the democratically elected central government yeah but for now they have a common enemy which is the vienna army so they need to fight this myanmar army first that's the understanding between the um the protesters you know urban protesters and the ethnic armed groups so urban protesters they knew that they couldn't fight this uh the heavy you know weapon machinery of the military so they seek help from the ethnic armies ethnic armies also welcome this like you know come to our land we are some are openly offering military training and weapons to those kind of young the urban protesters so this is where they they can form the alliance for now because both of them see the myanmar army at this moment as their common enemy they need to fight first stay with me so win um a monitoring group in myanmar is saying the number of people killed since the february coup has now passed 500 it's reported eight more people died today these pictures are from yangon the smoke is from rubbish that's been piled up into the streets and then set on fire other videos appear to show soldiers firing towards demonstrators as they crouch behind sandbags so when what are you hearing about the violence in the cities the still protests are going on like different shapes and forms like but we did not see you know legend number of protesters coming out onto the streets these days because they face lethal force these soldiers and police are not kind of hesitant to shoot at the protester they use literal food use life bullets but protests are still going on in different shapes and forms we talked about this garbage bags you know scattered across the streets because they say that protesters are saying that you know you shoot the protesters like garbage so now these are the things that you should really shoot so overnight that they will scatter the the garbage you know the baggage across the street and also they are still continuing different uh silent protests civil disobedience movement banging on pots and been in whatever way they can but they know that you know once they get out onto the streets that they would face the lethal force by the army and sujas waiting for them in the streets and so when briefly if you would has the military offered any justification for the fact that it's killing civilians in the street they didn't they just you know make it out essay these are the destructive elements that we are trying to stabilize uh the country while these protesters are violent instigators they term the protesters as the instigator who are trying to destroy the stability of the country that's why the legit demise or they justify their action of their killing on getting off the protesters

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