Over 1,000 Christians have fled their homes in the Chin State of Myanmar, where conflict between the Burmese Army, known as the Tatmadaw, and the local defense groups have escalated in recent days, reports say.
On September 10, military airstrikes and heavy shelling forced people out of the Lungler village in Thantlang Township in the Chin State to seek refuge in nearby towns and villages, local news reported. About 150 people reportedly sought refuge in the neighboring Mizoram state in northeastern India and were provided with shelter and food by local NGOs.
According to the International Christian Concern, over 16,700 people were displaced by the fighting between the Myanmar army and the resistance. These people traveled to townships in the western state while others took refuge in churches since the conflict sparked in the region back in May.
Human Rights Watch data showed that about 16,000 people from Myanmar have retreated to four Indian border states, including Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, with the last three being Christian-majority states.
When the National Unity Government (NUG), a parallel government, declared a revolt against the regime on September 7, the country saw increased violence between the junta groups and the people's defense forces.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) of Thailand has recorded 1,080 deaths in the hands of the Tatmadaw during their raids, crackdowns, arrests, interrogation, and random shootings since the beginning of the coup on February 1, which demolished Aung Sang Suu Kyi's civilian government.
According to UCA News, conflict has also intensified in the Gangaw township in Sagaing region. In the Magway region, thousands of villagers who were mostly Buddhists, also fled their homes for fear of the military's shooting and burning down of houses. At least 20 people have been executed by the military in Ganggaw township.
Since the conflict began in February, about 200,000 have been displaced.
The United Nations Credentials Committee, a nine-member panel that includes the U.S. and China, met on September 14 to establish who should represent Myanmar at the United Nations. In consideration was ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, the deposed government's appointee, or a representative of the junta that took over the country months ago.
Both the NUG and the junta claim to be the rightful representative of Myanmar at the United Nations. Kyaw Moe Tun was dismissed by the junta on February 27 after he denounced the militant group's coup and called for the restoration of democracy in the country.
According to Foreign Policy, the U.S. and China reached an agreement to block Myanmar's military rulers from communicating with the U.N.'s General The arrangement will, however, force Myanmar's U.N. ambassador to choose his words in describing the junta when addressing the U.N. Kyaw Moe Tun, however, will not represent the NUG.
Richard Gowan, the U.N. representative at the International Crisis Group said, "What we are hearing...is that the credential committee will defer. They will say they can't draw a firm conclusion now, and that will encourage [Kyaw Moe Tun] to stay on.
Apparently, there has been a quiet gentleman's agreement that the current ambassador will keep a low profile during [this] high-level week and won't use it as an opportunity to attack the regime."