In Burma, the junta withdrew from Myawaddy, a strategic town on the Thai border

Burmese army troops have completely withdrawn from Myawaddy, a strategic border town for trade with Thailand; This is another significant defeat for the military, which has been in difficulty for several months in the north and west of the country. This location is important to the Burmese junta, as trade passing through Myawaddy amounted to $1.1 billion over the past 12 months, a vital source of revenue for the Burmese army – short of cash. money – according to the Burmese Ministry of Commerce.

” We have taken [le bataillon militaire de Birmanie] 275 at 10 p.m. last night »declared Thursday April 11 Padoh Saw Taw Nee, spokesperson for the Karen National Union (KNU), one of the main rebel movements against the junta, to Agence France-Presse (AFP), adding that some two hundred Soldiers had holed up on a bridge linking Myawaddy to the Thai border town of Mae Sot.

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A Thai immigration official told AFP that the city was “fallen” Wednesday night, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. AFP journalists present at the border post heard a muffled noise coming from the Burmese side after a plane flew over around 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. in Paris) on Thursday.

According to residents, fighting began around Myawaddy on Tuesday and no sound of clashes was heard during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. “The fighting stopped around 8 p.m. last night”a Myawaddy resident told AFP who is unable to independently verify the KNU’s claims as journalists do not have access to Myawaddy.

Series of defeats for the junta

On Wednesday, hundreds of frightened people lined up at the border to flee the fighting that lasted several days around Myawaddy. Thailand shares a 2,400-kilometre-long border with Myanmar, where a 2021 military coup against the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi reignited conflict between the junta and its ethnic and political opponents.

For several months, the junta has suffered a series of defeats in the north and west of the country. The number of people passing through the Thai immigration post from Burma daily has increased to around four thousand in recent days, compared to the usual 1900, an immigration official told AFP.

He added that the authorities were increasing the number of immigration agents to cope with a possible increase in the flow of arrivals. At the end of the day Wednesday, the commander of the 3e Thai Army Lieutenant General Prasarn Saengsirirak told local media that the army “intensified” its patrols along the border.

“We will provide humanitarian aid, but if stray bullets cross the Thai border, we will respond with light or heavy measures”, did he declare. On Tuesday, Thailand’s foreign minister said the kingdom was ready to welcome 100,000 people fleeing the ongoing conflict. Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin spoke with her ministers about the situation at the border earlier this week.

Read the report: Article reserved for our subscribers At the gates of Burma, support for the junta is crumbling

The World with AFP

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