Influx of Myanmar refugees at Indian, Thai borders likely just the beginning: envoy

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The influx of refugees from Myanmar at the Indian and Thai borders and elsewhere is “ominous” and likely just the beginning, UN Secretary General’s special envoy on Myanmar has told the Security Council, warning that regional security could deteriorate further and no country in the region would want a “failed state” as their neighbour.


Myanmar’s military toppled the country’s government on February 1 and seized power for one year, detaining top political figures, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint. The coup sparked protests and other acts of civil disobedience, leading to the deaths of hundreds in military crackdown.


The 15-nation Council held closed consultations on Myanmar on Wednesday, days after the country witnessed the bloodiest day since the demonstrations against the February 1 coup began, with security forces killing at least 107 individuals — including seven children, on March 27.
In her remarks to the closed meeting of the Council, Special Envoy of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said that a robust international response requires a unified regional position, especially with the neighbouring countries leveraging their influence towards stability in Myanmar.


“The regional security and economic consequences are getting worse and could deteriorate further. The influx of refugees at the Indian and Thai borders and elsewhere is ominous and likely just the beginning,” she said.
Burgener said she intends to visit the region soon, hopefully next week, in continuation of her close consultations with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other leaders.

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