Expanding conflict in northern Myanmar displaces more than 200,000

Fierce fighting between Myanmar’s military and ethnic armies in northern Shan state in recent weeks has expanded to include parts of the northwest, southeast and Rakhine state, displacing more than 200,000 people, according to the United Nations.

“As of 14 November, more than 200,000 people across these states and regions have been forcibly displaced due to the fighting. Many have also moved towards the border with China in northern Shan,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.

The conflict between Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) and the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) has impacted urban areas with intense fighting and aerial bombardment, the statement notes.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Arakan Army armed groups have claimed control of numerous outposts and four towns, blocking critical trade routes to China.

Hundreds of people have fled the conflict and some have entered Indian territory in recent days.

Myanmar is currently ruled by a junta regime after the military overthrew a civilian government two years ago.

The UN expressed alarm at the severe fighting in Shan, pointing to reports of artillery fire and air raids causing civilian harm, displacement of tens of thousands, and hundreds fleeing across the border.

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