Over 500 Myanmar Refugees Return Home from Thailand

กองบรรณาธิการ TCIJ: Sat, 23 February 2019 | Read 1473

Over 500 Myanmar Refugees Return Home from Thailand

Over 500 Myanmar refugees displaced in Thailand have returned to their hometown in a third batch of the voluntary repatriation under the UNHCR support. The 516 refugees who had lived in five refugee camps in Thailand’s northern Tak province boarded vans at a border crossing checkpoint near Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot district on Wednesday.

Many of them fled arm conflicts in Myanmar’s Kayin and Kayah States in 1984. The voluntary repatriation process by the governments of Thailand and Myanmar with the support of UNHCR gives the refugees the opportunity to rebuild their lives in their home country.

Myanmar authorities at the border provided assistance for the refugees including immigration support with documentation and medical screening before going to their final destinations in Southeastern Myanmar.

With UNHCR-supported process, the first group of refugees who expressed a clear desire returned to Myanmar in October 2016, followed by the second group in May 2018. Thailand has sheltered the refugees at nine camps in four provinces; Tak, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Mae Hong Son. There are about 100,000 refugees from Myanmar, mostly of Karen and Karenni ethnicity, from Myanmar living in the nine camps.

Source: TNA

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