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26,000 people displaced amid renewed fighting in Myanmar: UN

In this photo from Nov 15, 2023, People who fled Myanmar carry their belongings across a bridge that connects Myanmar and India at the border village of Zokhawthar, Champhai district, in India's northeastern state of Mizoram. Photograph: (AFP)

NAYPYIDAW, NOVEMBER 19: More than 26,000 people from Myanmar’s Rakhine state have been displaced since Monday after fresh fighting between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Arakan Army (AA), according to the United Nations, CNN reported on Saturday.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in a statement that the latest figures bring the total number of internally displaced people due to conflict between the two sides to approximately 90,000.
Notably, 11 deaths and over 30 injuries have been reported since an informal ceasefire agreed to a year ago broke on November 13, the statement read.
CNN reported that over 100 people have reportedly been detained by the MAF and 5 by the AA.
Battles between the military and resistance groups have unfolded almost daily across Myanmar since Army General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in February 2021, plunging the country into economic chaos and a fresh civil war, according to CNN.
The most recent fighting began when the AA reportedly attacked two border posts near the Maungdaw township, which is near the border with Bangladesh.
The two parties had previously established an informal ceasefire in November 2022, according to the UN body.
It added that there have been reports of MAF shelling in AA-controlled areas and that the military has conducted at least one operation backed by air and naval support.
Most humanitarian activities have been suspended due to the fighting, and “virtually all roads and waterways” between Rakhine townships have been blocked, CNN reported, citing the statement.
Airstrikes and ground attacks on what the MAF calls “terrorist” targets have occurred regularly since 2021 and killed thousands of civilians, including children, CNN reported, citing monitoring groups.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 people from Myanmar have entered the Indian State of Mizoram following a fresh airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas along the Indo-Myanmar border.
In the wake of the situation, India has called for the end of violence after an airstrike at the Indo-Myanmar border and emphasised the resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue. “Our position on the ongoing situation in Myanmar is very clear. We want the cessation of the violence and the resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue. We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability, and democracy in Myanmar”, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday in a weekly briefing.
Bagchi further emphasised that, as a result of fighting in the Rikhawdar area, which is opposite Zokhawthar on the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, in the Chin state of Myanmar, “there has been a movement of Myanmar nationals to the Indian side. We are deeply concerned with such incidents close to our border.”
“We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability, and democracy in Myanmar”, Bagchi stressed.
According to Reuters, Myanmar’s military junta is facing its biggest test since taking power in a 2021 coup after three ethnic minority forces launched a coordinated offensive in late October, capturing some towns and military posts.
Last week, the military-installed President said that Myanmar was at risk of ‘breaking apart’ because of an ineffective response to the rebellion. As per Reuters, the new combat will be another blow for the junta, which is increasingly stretched amid mounting armed opposition, fuelled by anger over the coup and crackdown. (ANI)