Data Matters No. (28)
In Myanmar, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) due to conflict and cross-border refugees from 1989 to August 20, 2022 has reached 2,930,201. Of these, 1,413,811 represent the increased number of refugees and IDPs since the 2021 coup, accounting for 48 percent of the total. There were also more than 497,200 internally displaced persons who were already on the run due to armed conflicts which had occurred before the coup. The combined number of cross-border refugees before and after the coup is at least 1,019,190.
As fighting continued to escalate across the country in the aftermath of the coup, the number of refugees also continued to rise on a monthly basis. The number of people displaced by the clashes reached 856,186 between January 1 and August 20 of 2022. This figure accounts for over 60 percent of the total number of freshly displaced people since the coup. Sagaing Region continued to record the highest number of internally displaced persons regionally with at least 533,833 (more than 37 percent). Magway Region recorded the second highest post-coup IDP total with at least 171,450.
A quarter of the total number of townships across Myanmar saw a combined surge of almost 1.5 million internally displaced persons since the coup. These included 23 townships from Sagaing Region. Comparing township-level data, Kayah State’s Demoso Township alone recorded more than 126,000 displaced persons, becoming the township with the highest increase in displaced persons since the coup.
∎ Why does it matter?
By looking at the number of civilian fatalities and injuries, how they were killed and wounded, and the number of people displaced by fighting involving SAC’s forces and EAOs, or within EAOs themselves, it is possible to examine whether or not armed forces have committed human rights violations from the perspective of transitional justice. In addition, by studying the post-coup situation, further research can be conducted to examine whether there has been a change in conditions related to Myanmar’s peace process.
∎ Other relevant readings
On-the-ground reports from ethnic news organizations and other independent media groups provide regular updates about conflict situations, their impact, and the collateral damage in the aftermath of the military coup. These include reports of renewed fighting in ethnic areas, civilian fatalities, and rising refugee and IDP issues on the ground. In addition, records and reports by United Nations organizations such as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and other independent local and foreign organizations also provide information about the ongoing conflict situation in Myanmar.