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Refugee Influx: Tak province, Thailand - Inter-Agency Operational Update - December 2021

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BACKGROUND

In mid-December, tensions escalated between the Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw) and the Karen National Liberation Army following a series of raids and arrests carried out by the Tatmadaw against dissidents, including from the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), who had sought protection in and around Lay Kay Kaw, Myawaddy. Clashes erupted on 15 December 2021, and since 16 December, thousands of people have been displaced as a result of the conflict.

POPULATION FIGURES

According to official figures published by the Tak Provincial Border Command Centre (TPBCC), as of 30 December 2021, the total accumulated figures since 16 December are 8,419 arrivals into Thailand and 3,637 returns to Myanmar.

There are currently 4,782 individuals remaining in two official temporary safety areas. The vast majority (4,730 individuals) are accommodated at the Mae Kone Kane site, also known as Mahawan Moei Khong cow shed, in Mae Sot district. A small group (52 individuals) is hosted at the Muen Rue Chai monastery, in Phop Phra district.

Previously, there were other official sites which were closed after the authorities relocated the population to the two sites remaining. The emptied and closed sites were Mae Tao Klang school (closed on 25 December), Pan Subdistrict Chief’s cow shed in Ban Don Chai (closed on 26 December), and Mae Ku Luang site, also known as Mae Ku Mai Tha Sung (closed on 28 December). Unconfirmed and unofficial reports suggest that further groups, possibly of hundreds of people, are staying in areas close to the border on both the Thai and Myanmar sides in Tak.