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U.N. reports refugee evictions

May 31, 2008|From the Associated Press

YANGON, MYANMAR — The military government is forcing cyclone victims out of refugee camps and "dumping" them near their devastated villages with virtually no aid supplies, United Nations and church officials said Friday.

Eight camps set up in the Irrawaddy delta town of Bogalay were "totally empty" as the clear-out continued, said Teh Tai Ring of UNICEF, speaking at a meeting of United Nations and private aid workers.

"The government is moving people unannounced," he said, adding that authorities were "dumping people in the approximate location of the villages, basically with nothing."

After his remarks were reported, UNICEF issued a statement saying they referred to "unconfirmed reports by relief workers on the relocation of displaced people" affected by the May 2-3 storm.

However, Teh said the information came from a relief worker who had just returned from the affected area and that "tears were shed" when he had recounted his findings.

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