[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
UPDATE ON KAREN REFUGEE CAMPS (r)
1 Febuary 1997 2:30pm Thailand time.
News from the Thai-Burma border.
Friends from our border office have been discussing the current situation
with people from the nearby camps and have forwarded the following
information to us. Most of is was obtained from intercepted radio
Last night units of soldiers crossed the Moi River from Burma into
Thailand, near Mae La (Beh Klaw) camp (population approx. 25,000). The
southern group is predominantly DKBA while the northern group consists of
Slorc soldiers. While entering Thailand, the southern group met Thai
soldiers and they exchanged fire, but the Thai soldiers pulled back.
Currently both groups are hiding in the mountains between the border and
Mae La (Beh Klaw) camp. The two groups combined have a total of 400-500
Tonight, a third group of soldiers located along the Burmese bank of the
Moei River plan to initiate the attack by shelling Mae La (Beh Klaw)
camp, after which the two groups will attack from the north and south.
Currently residents of Mae La (Beh Klaw) are moving across the road and
into the Thai jungles on the other side. For those not familiar with the
geography it looks like this:
|M| ^ : : ^
|O| T ^ : : ^
B |E| H ^ C :R: ^
U |I| A ^ A :O: ^
R | | I ^ M :A: ^
M |R| L ^ P :D: ^
A |I| A ^ : : ^
|V| N ^ : : ^
|E| D ^ : : ^
|R| ^ : : ^
Several of our staff will be returning from Mae La (Beh Klaw) and will be
able to confirm current situation there. The KNU has been moving troops
into the area, but we do not know to what extent. We also do not know
what the Thai authorities are doing although one of our staff saw a
several trucks carrying Thai soldiers, dressed in black (perhaps a one or
more ranger units), in Mae Sot. They might be mobilizing to head north to
Mae La (Beh Klaw).
If the camp gets attacked tonight, the already serious refugee problems
will be escalated significantly.