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70,000 displaced persons in Rakhine State: OCHA

A total of 70,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in 50 camps and temporary locations in Sittwe, Kyauktaw and Maungdaw townships in Rakhine State, as of August 31, according to an report by OCHN, the UN humanitarian relief agency, released on Tuesday.

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The number of IDP camps in Sittwe is continuously falling, the report said, as the government consolidates the IDP locations into 15 main relocation camps in Sittwe.

Population movements continue to be reported. Over 4,000 people who had arrived at Thet Kel Pyin camp from Than Daw Li village in order to gain access to aid, are now reportedly gradually moving back to their village. Some 30 families have arrived in the village at the end of August.

Although the security situation has overall been calm over recent weeks, inter-communal tension remains very high.

On August 11, the government reviewed the security situation across the state and changed the curfew hours from 6pm until 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. in seven townships, including in Kyauktaw due to recent violence.

The government released nine out of 14 UN/INGO staff that had been held in detention following the recent unrest in Rakhine State.

On August 17, the Government formed a 27-member investigation commission, which comprises former Government officials, religious leaders, representatives from political parties and entrepreneurs, to identify the causes of the recent violence as well as to give recommendations.

The commission is also tasked to submit proposals for ending the conflict as well as to make suggestions for peaceful coexistence between communities. On 21 August, the Minister of Border Affairs held a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw with the members of the newly established investigation commission during which the Minister gave an update on the situation in Rakhine and urged the commission to conduct assessments in the affected locations and make recommendations for a solution.

Safety and security of humanitarian workers continue to be concern, as several provocative statements had been made in the past against UN and NGOs, fuelling tensions and hampering assessments and delivery of relief support to the victims of the violence. The Government and the humanitarian community under the leadership of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) have taken measures to address those issues including through joint visits to both affected communities, dialogue with community leaders and dissemination of information about the cooperation between the government and humanitarian partners through various channels.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:04 )  

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