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Myanmar Situation - Inter-Agency Operational Update - 18 May 2021

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The volatile situation in Myanmar following the 01 February 2021 coup has resulted in increased displacement both within the country and across borders, including into Thailand

Humanitarian actors stand ready to support the Royal Thai Government (RTG)’s efforts to receive Myanmar refugees fleeing at this time to ensure that they receive the protection they need

Agencies have taken a number of key preparedness actions to ensure that complementary activities are delivered in a timely and coordinated manner

Latest Situation Overview

In view of the ongoing civil unrest and conflict in Myanmar, humanitarian actors continue to engage with the RTG in Bangkok and in the border provinces on potential support to its preparedness and response efforts to a potential refugee influx. The most affected area in Thailand has been Mae Hong Son (MHS) Province, where several groups have been crossing over to seek safety since late March. In the latest such developments, a total of 2,300+ refugees (per official statistics) crossed into the province from 27 April 2021 following increased fighting between the Tatmadaw and KNU forces, including airstrikes. The majority were reported to be women, children, and older persons and were subsequently hosted in four governmentmanaged “temporary safety areas” in very remote locations in Mae Sariang District (please refer to map), with humanitarian assistance provided by the Thai authorities. On 08 May 2021, a number of partners received reports that the remaining group of 2,191 refugees who had been accounted and officially reported by local authorities were being convinced to return to Myanmar by the Royal Thai Army (RTA). The majority of this group had come from Ei Thu Hta IDP camp, less than 2km into Myanmar territory. It was subsequently confirmed on 10 May 2021 that 2,000+ individuals from this group had been returned to Myanmar. Furthermore, during the daily update issued by the Thai-Myanmar Border Command Center in Mae Hong Son on 13 May 2021, the presence of 1,600+ individuals in 5 temporary safety areas in Mae Hong Son Province was reported. As of 18 May 2021, humanitarian actors have not yet formally been granted access to this group. In a separate development, it is planned that on 19 May 2021 several humanitarian agencies will conduct a site visit to a designated "Holding Area" in the Ko Heng River area, located in the north of Mae Sam Leap Sub-District along the Salween River, following a request made by MHS Province to UNHCR to support with site planning. Meanwhile, the situation in Tak Province is said to be quiet for the moment. No information has been received about groups of CDM supporters gathering close to the border with an imminent risk of a crossing into Thailand. This has reportedly led to a slight adjustment of the Province’s contingency plan, which remains internal. Since March, no site visits have been organized by the RTG in Tak. In Kanchanaburi/Ratchaburi provinces, according to reports received from partners there are currently no displaced groups on the Thai side.