About eight hundred Karenni refugees who arrived in Thailand returned home
According to those helping refugees, about 800 of the 9,000 Karenni refugees who fled across the border and took refuge in Thailand's Mae Hong Son District due to the fighting in Mese Township near the Thailand-Myanmar border in Kayah State in the last two months have returned home these days.
An official of the Karenni War Refugee Assistance Group said that some of the refugees returned home after the Thai authorities informed the refugees at the border that they could return home. "In other words, they have been fighting from Demoso and other townships since before, so they are taking refuge in the refugee camps on the Mese side. When the battle started again in July, people fled to Thailand in groups. Now that they can return to Thailand, they are returning to the Mese refugee camps where they lived before. As far as I know from the list, there will only be eight hundred returning now." He said that the returnees need help with rain shelter and food.
Due to the battles between the Military Council Army and the Karenni Defense Forces from July 13 to 19, 2023, nearly five thousand refugees first fled to Thailand. After that, at midnight on August 14th, the military council army again bombed with fighter jets in the Dawnoeku refugee camp on the border of Mese Township, causing about 4,000 refugees to flee to Thailand. Therefore, there were around 9,000 Karenni refugees in Mae Hong Son District, Thailand. Aid and relief groups said that the administrative officials of Mae Hong Son District, Thailand, opened a camp and helped those refugees.
Ko Banyar, the founder of the Karenni Human Rights Group, said that the Thai authorities are collecting a list of refugees who want to return home at the border these days. "The Thai government will drive everyone back after looking at the situation. But we don't know exactly when they will send it back." Even though the Thai government is making such a list, Ko Banyar said that the battles in the Karenni region on the Myanmar side are still going on, and the military council's airstrikes are still worrying.
According to the Karenni Human Rights Organizations list, there are more than 250,000 war refugees who have fled their homes during the two and a half years of the military coup in Kayah State.