Thailand says it has asked Myanmar junta to reduce violence

Thailand has sent messages to Myanmar's junta to reduce violence, its foreign minister said on Friday, adding preparations are underway for an influx of people crossing into the country after the fall of a border town to rebels.

Publication: 12.04.2024 - 13:37
Thailand says it has asked Myanmar junta to reduce violence
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Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said Thailand was also working with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to follow a stalled peace plan for Myanmar, known as its five-point consensus.

"Thailand wants to see peace and dialogue," Parnpree told reporters, following a visit to Mae Sot, which lies across the Myanmar town of Myawaddy that was wrested out of military control by anti-junta forces led by the Karen National Union (KNU) rebel group.

He added Thailand was considering alternative trade routes in case of road closures caused by the fighting.

A steady stream of people, some fearing air strikes, queued at a border crossing to flee Myanmar on Friday.

"I am afraid of air strikes," said Moe Moe Thet San, a Myawaddy resident who stood in snaking queues of dozens of people in the heat to cross into Thailand. She came across the border with her son, who is about five years old.

"They caused very loud noises that shook my house," added the 39-year-old mother, one of those gathered at the single fully-operational border crossing at Mae Sot, who said the sound of bombs drove them to leave home, fearing for their safety.

"That's why I escaped here. They can't bomb Thailand," she added.

The loss of the town robs the junta, already grappling with an economy in free fall, of vital earnings from border trade while strengthening rebel groups, analysts say.

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