U.S.-backed forces have lightened the border with Myanmar as they try to stem a rise in the drug trade, sparking anger among the military and ethnic Burmese nationalists.
The border is currently closed to Myanmar, which regards the U.N.-backed government as an illegal occupying force.
Burmese border police have been deployed along the border since last week.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the closure of the border, which will remain in place until at least January, but said it will be up to Myanmar to implement it.
“It’s been one of the toughest years in a long time,” he said in a speech at the White House on Monday.
“We’re going to get it done.
It’s going to be done with dignity, with peace and with dignity for all of our people.”
A border guard stands at a gate of the northern town of Lachiny Township in northern Sittwe, Thailand, November 12, 2021.
In a statement on Monday, the U.,N.
and the Myanmar government said the border was closed on Oct. 1 to “ensure the security and stability of the country” and to “support the efforts of U.
Ns peacekeeping missions and military personnel deployed to enforce the countrys laws”.
It also said the closure was “to prevent the illegal trafficking of drugs” and said that “there is no justification for continued illegal border crossing.”
Burmians protest against the closure in Lachony Township, Thailand on Tuesday, November 14, 2021, after a month-long standoff with the government.
Hundreds of thousands of Burmians are still living in makeshift camps along the country’s border with Thailand.
On Oct. 8, Myanmar agreed to allow some U.NS peacekeepers to enter the country under a deal reached with the U,N.
The agreement was signed by the UN. secretary-general and Prime Minister Hun Sen. Since then, the border has been heavily fortified by Burmists, and security forces have fired live ammunition into the air to try to prevent illegal crossings.
A military patrol guards a road near a gate in northern Thailand, after the government announced the border would remain closed until at most January, 2021 in response to the country opening the border to the UNS.
More than a thousand soldiers and police have also been deployed on the border.
Maraquan’s border crossing with Thailand has been closed since last November.
Police in Mandalay said on Monday they had fired warning shots and used water cannon to break up protesters blocking a road leading to the border crossing.
Demonstrators in Mandalays northern city of Lomakhong were holding up signs that read: “No to drug trade!” on Monday night.
Thousands of people are living in tents along the Thai-Mandalay border.
The government has set up roadblocks and imposed a curfew.
Soldiers carry the coffin of a protester killed in a police crackdown in Mandalaya, Thailand October 19, 2021.(Reuters photo: Thaisin Sitiabong)Maraqat A, the leader of Mandalay’s local government, said on Saturday that the Uns presence was an “invasion” and vowed to crack down on the illegal drug trade.
He said the police had fired water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Last year, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Mandalays capital, Sittha, demanding the government lift a ban on public gatherings and a relaxation of the restrictions on the use of alcohol.
At least 40 people have been killed in clashes between the government and the protesters in recent months.
Tensions have been rising in Sitthas border region, where police have clashed with protesters in the past.
An aerial view shows the border gate with Thailand at Lachiya township, Thailand November 11, 2021 (AFP Photo/Chaiwat Thani)In October, police fired tear gas and live ammunition at a crowd of protesters who had gathered in front of a gate to the northern Thai town of Mandalaya.
Protesters had gathered for a rally in Sattang, a town on the northern side of the Thai border, after police had stopped traffic on a highway that connects the two countries.
Police fired rubber bullets at protesters as they attempted to breach the gate.
Several people were injured in the clashes, with at least 20 taken to hospital, according to local media.
The clashes prompted President Hun Sen to declare a state of emergency, which allows for the closure and restriction of public gatherings.
As part of the state of national emergency, the government has asked the military to provide extra military forces.
Officials say the new state of security is aimed at preventing people from entering Thailand illegally, which the government says is a violation