Al Jazeera: Repatriation Fears Mar Refugee Day in Thai Border Camps

June 20, 2015

  About 2,000 students gathered on Friday to celebrate World Refugee Day in the Mae La camp in Thailand (Credit: Dene-Hern Chen)

About 2,000 students gathered on Friday to celebrate World Refugee Day in the Mae La camp in Thailand (Credit: Dene-Hern Chen)

THA SONG YANG, Thailand – An organisation representing the ethnic Karen minority in Myanmar has warned against the hasty repatriation of more than 130,000 refugees currently residing in Thai border camps.

Issuing a statement to coincide with World Refugee Day on Saturday, the Karen Women's Organization (KWO) cited ongoing conflict in Myanmar and the refugees' distrust of the Myanmar government as reasons against premature repatriation.

"The conditions that lead refugees to flee in the first place have yet to be resolved, as initial ceasefires have proven to be fragile and regularly breached," the KWO said in their statement on Saturday.

"In ceasefire areas, an increased presence of [Myanmar] army troops, in terms of both numbers of personnel and infrastructure, threaten the lives of those who continue to live in fear of conflict."

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