Update on the situation in Meikhtila and Bago as of 29 March 2013
As the Government, UN agencies and partners are responding to the need in Meikhtila in accordance to the needs identified by the Inter-agency rapid assessment, which were shared and agreed with the authorities, the following note is an update on the current situation in Meikhtila Township, Mandalay Region and Bago Region.
According to the Government, clashes on 20 March over a local dispute in Meikhtila, Mandalay Region resulted in 40 fatalities and 61 injured. Reports indicate that life in Meikhtila is slowly returning to normal, although the atmosphere is cautious and the state of emergency remains in place for four townships (Mahliang, Meikhtila, Thazi, and Wundwin). Since 28 March the authorities began to clear damaged houses and debris in Meikhtila as shops and commercial businesses reopen.
The total number of IDPs affected and assessed is 12,846. As a result of the Government-led family reunion process, which begun on 27 March, some people have relocated from their original temporary location to stay with family members and others have already returned to their homes. Updated population figures by site will be reported by 2 April.
The official Government figures on the number of houses destroyed by arson is 1,594; this figure is down from the previous estimation of 2,245 published in the 27 March OCHA Situation Report. On 27 March the Mandalay Regional Chief Minister hosted a meeting of religious and local leaders to urge collaboration and provide a focus on resettlement. At a meeting with ECHO and the Director General U Soe Aung on 28 March, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement outlined the need for the resettlement process to start soonest. The Government estimates a cost of $7 million to complete the process.
Tensions are on the rise in other parts of the country, as sporadic unrest continued to spread in west Bago. Attacks on religious buildings and shops in the townships of Nattalin, Thegon, and Zigon were reported on 27-28 March resulting in the Government extended the curfew to cover Zigon, Nattalin, Gyobingauk, Okpo and Minhla townships. The Bago Regional Minister for Security and Border Affairs reported that security measures are in place and a number of suspects are detained. Application of ‘Law 188’ (closure of public places at 21:00hrs) in Tamwe, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, Tharkata townships of Yangon remains in place.
OCHA Myanmar will produce a Situation Report on or before 3 April 2013.
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