The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 07, 2012
 

UN has 'major concern' over Myanmar displaced

 
 

YANGON (AFP) - A top UN envoy on Friday raised concerns about the plight of hundreds of thousands of people forced from their homes by unrest in Myanmar, after visiting camps in the country's conflict-hit west and north.

The United Nations' humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said almost half a million people are displaced "in need of assistance" in the country, which is opening to the world after nearly half a century of military rule ended last year.

"While it is a time of positive change in the country, humanitarian needs have increased and this is a major concern," said Ms Amos, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

The UN said around 115,000 people have fled bloody communal violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities in western Rakhine state, while 75,000 are displaced in Kachin state in the north because of ongoing fighting between ethnic rebels and the army.