More and more residents are fleeing Myanmar’s largest city because of the ongoing violence there. Local media reports that people are leaving for the countryside.
That led to a traffic jam on a major highway near the metropolis of Yangon on Friday. Neighbouring Thailand says it is already preparing for the arrival of refugees.
Inhabitants of Yangon say they no longer feel safe after the authorities’ continued violence against civilians opposed to the coup. “I can’t sleep some nights,” said a woman from town. She told AFP news agency that security forces are “picking people off the street.”
A 29-year-old goldsmith from the city told by phone that he had already left earlier this week. “It was too stressful to stay,” he explained.
Things have been troubled for weeks in Myanmar, where the army seized power last month and arrested government leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Security forces use a lot of violence against demonstrating civilians. At least 220 people were killed, according to local observers.
Authorities in the Thai border province of Tak are aware that fleeing Myanmarese may also cross the border. Governor Pongrat Piromrat says the area can accommodate about 30,000 to 50,000 people.