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Updated: 4 hours 21 min ago

Myanmar: Angry mourners mass in riot-hit Myanmar city

4 July 2014 - 2:38am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

07/04/2014 14:25 GMT

MANDALAY, July 4, 2014 (AFP) - Thousands of people, some wielding sticks, flooded Myanmar's second-largest city Friday as tensions spiked during the funeral of a victim of Buddhist-Muslim clashes that have raised fears of spreading violence.

Mandalay was on edge as darkness fell with police blocking access to some Muslim neighbourhoods in a tightening of security for the central Myanmar city's second night under curfew, as anger grew following unrest that left one Buddhist and one Muslim dead.

It was the latest in a string of deadly religious clashes that have plagued the former junta-run nation for two years, prompting warnings that the country's fragile transition to democracy could be imperilled.

Earlier Friday, scores of motorcycles took part in a procession carrying the coffin of the 36-year-old Buddhist man through the heart of the city.

While Mandalay has a sizeable Muslim minority and also plays host to a group of nationalist Buddhist monks accused of stoking tension, it has not suffered religious unrest on this scale in recent years.

Police sources told AFP they were boosting security measures as a precaution in other cities, including the commercial hub Yangon which has a diverse population of religious and ethnic minorities.

Social media users were unable to access Facebook for the second straight evening, amid speculation that Myanmar had blocked the site to curb the spread of inflammatory comment online.

No one from the authorities was able to comment on the issue and the official spokesman, who posts his official updates via Facebook, did not respond to requests for information.

The violence on Tuesday and Wednesday saw mobs wielding airguns, swords, rocks and other weapons go on a rampage through the central metropolis.

The wife of the Buddhist victim, who was attacked on Wednesday evening, told AFP that she could not understand why the father of her three children was targeted.

"They killed him brutally," she said as she prepared for the funeral.

A friend of the dead man, who was with him at the time of the attack, showed AFP injuries on his hand that he said were slash marks from a "sword" used by a group of Muslims to kill his friend.

"I will hold a grudge for the rest of my life. If anything happens like this again I will not hesitate to be involved," said Htwe.

A funeral for the dead Muslim man, a popular local bicycle shop owner, was held Thursday, hours after he was killed while on his way to attend early morning prayers.

The unrest broke out Tuesday after an accusation of a rape of a Buddhist woman by two Muslim men from a local tea shop was spread on the Internet, prompting a crowd of hundreds to gather near the business, hurling stones and damaging property.

"The violence happened because of hate speech and misinformation spread online," an official from the president's office, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

Authorities imposed the curfew on Thursday to quell the riots, which left 14 people injured. Police arrested nine people in connection with the unrest.

  • Fears of more riots -

Buddhist-Muslim clashes have left at least 250 people dead and tens of thousands displaced since fighting first broke out in Myanmar's western Rakhine state in 2012.

Most of the victims have been Muslim and clashes have often erupted as a result of rumours or individual criminal acts.

Prominent hardline cleric Wirathu, who is based in Mandalay, posted a link to online allegations against the tea shop owners on his Facebook page just hours before the latest unrest flared up.

But in an interview with AFP he dismissed suggestions that his online posts were inflammatory.

"Muslim organisations are the ones responsible for this and are more able to stop it from happening again," he said, accusing the community of shielding the two men from the tea shop.

Kari Hasan, the head of downtown Shaeshaung mosque, said the Muslim community had become a target of hate speech and had been let down by the authorities.

"If something happens they suddenly say it is because of Islam. With the new government we expected good things but we only get bad things," he said.

Myanmar's President Thein Sein, who has seen his regime's reformist drive overshadowed by the sectarian violence, said the country could only maintain stability if people live "harmoniously" in his monthly radio address aired this week.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi blamed the authorities for the worsening violence.

"The authorities should properly handle those people who are spreading rumours. Without rule of law, more riots will come," she told Radio Free Asia, according to remarks posted on the broadcaster's website.

nan-hla/klm/pdh

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Myanmar: Tensions simmer in riot-hit Myanmar city

4 July 2014 - 2:38am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

07/04/2014 05:58 GMT

MANDALAY, July 4, 2014 (AFP) - Police patrolled tense streets in Myanmar's second-largest city on Friday as anger and disbelief rippled through violence-hit communities following deadly Buddhist-Muslim clashes that raised fears of spreading unrest.

Calm returned to Mandalay after the city was placed under curfew Thursday to quell violence that saw mobs wielding airguns, swords, rocks and other weapons go on a rampage, leaving one Buddhist and one Muslim dead.

It was the latest in a string of deadly religious clashes that have plagued the former junta-run nation for two years, prompting warnings that the country's fragile transition to democracy could be imperilled.

Violence broke out on Tuesday after an accusation of a rape of a Buddhist woman by two Muslim men from a local tea shop was spread on the Internet, prompting a crowd of hundreds to gather near the business, hurling stones and damaging property.

"The violence happened because of hate speech and misinformation spread online," an official from the president's office, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

He said the situation was now under control and the government so far had no specific plan to tackle inflammatory remarks posted on the Internet.

Friends and relatives of the Buddhist man killed on Wednesday, a 36-year-old father of three, expressed their shock and outrage as they prepared to hold his funeral.

"He was like a brother to me," said Htwe, who was with the dead man on the night of the attack.

He showed AFP injuries on his hand that he said were slash marks from a "sword" used by a group of Muslims to kill his friend.

"I will hold a grudge for the rest of my life," he said of the attack.

A funeral for the dead Muslim man, a popular local bicycle shop owner, was held Thursday, hours after he was killed while on his way to attend early morning prayers.

Kari Hasan, the head of nearby Shaeshaung mosque, said the Muslim community had become a target of hate speech and had been let down by the authorities.

"If something happens they suddenly say it is because of Islam. With the new government we expected good things but we only get bad things," he said.

  • Fears of more riots -

Sectarian clashes have left at least 250 people dead and tens of thousands displaced since fighting first broke out in western Rakhine state in 2012.

Most of the victims of the violence have been Muslim and clashes have often erupted as a result of rumours or individual criminal acts.

Radical monks have been accused of stoking religious tensions, while the security forces have been accused of failing to prevent attacks.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi blamed the authorities for the worsening violence and warned of the dangers of unsubstantiated reports.

"The authorities should properly handle those people who are spreading rumours. Without rule of law, more riots will come," she told Radio Free Asia, according to remarks posted on the broadcaster's website.

In a monthly radio address broadcast this week, Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein said the country was a "multi-racial and -religious nation" that could only maintain stability if people live "harmoniously".

"For the reform to be successful, I would like to urge all to avoid instigation and behaviour that incite hatred among our fellow citizens," he said, according to an official transcript.

nan-hla/klm/dr/mtp

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Myanmar: Ending sexual violence in conflict through the establishment of Women and Girl Centres in Myanmar

4 July 2014 - 1:14am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Myanmar

Myanmar became the 150th country to endorse the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in the run up to a landmark Global Summit to end Sexual and Gender-based violence on the 6th June 2014. The declaration contains a set of practical and political commitments to end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war. Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister, Thant Kyaw and representatives from Myanmar’s civil society joined government ministers, military officials, aid workers and civil society leaders from more than 100 countries at the “End Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit,” in London from the 10th - 13th June, 2014.

In parallel to the Global Summit in London, the British Embassy, Yangon, hosted a series of activities to raise awareness of the need to establish a survivor centered approach, break the culture of impunity and hold perpetuators accountable for acts of sexual violence. As part of these activities, Mi Mi Thin Aung, UNFPA’s National GBV Coordinator, participated in a round table national radio programme, hosted by BBC Media Action, with fifteen young people. Mi Mi Thin Aung said, “We discussed what sexual violence is in conflict and why it happens. We explored concrete examples about how young people can help to prevent it. This radio discussion is really important for young people in conflict areas as many of them are not aware or know very little about this issue.”

The activities concluded with a Technical Expert Panel Discussion chaired by the British Ambassador, Mr. Andrew Patrick, with UNFPA International GBV Coordinator, Elizabeth Pender, Hkawng Gan – case worker from Metta Development Foundation working in a Women and Girls Centre in Kachin and Professor Than New - a member of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission. The audience was made up of members from civil society, international NGOs, UN representatives and the diplomatic community.

In recognition of the need to address sexual violence in conflict, UNFPA over the last 8 months, has been instrumental in setting up services for victims in Kachin and Rakhine states. In these conflict affected areas, women and girls have identified rape as the primary reason for leaving their homes. In Kachin, UNFPA has partnered with the Metta Development Foundation (in Government controlled areas) and the Kachin Women’s Association (in Non-Government controlled areas) to establish 8 Women and Girls Centres (WGCs). Over 2,000 women and girls have accessed support through WGCs and outreach activities in Kachin since January 2014. In Rakhine state, UNFPA supports the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to operate 6 WGCs. IRC will also work with national CSO partners.

The WGCs provide a safe and supportive environment for women and girls to access confidential psychosocial and case management services. The WGCs are a critical safe space as victims of GBV are often stigmatised by both their families and communities when seeking services for GBV. Elizabeth Pender, UNFPA International GBV Coordinator said, “It is really dangerous for a victim of violence to come forward, which is why these centers offer a safe space for woman and girls.”

Each WGC includes a centre manager, case workers, response officers and prevention officers. “In Kachin state we have already seen the number of women and girls visiting the centres double between February and March 2014, and quadruple between March and April. I think this indicates that there is a demand and need for these centres, but we also have to build trust and relationships. We have to demonstrate to women and girls that their safety and security is our priority,” said Elizabeth Pender of UNFPA.

Myanmar: Two dead in Buddhist-Muslim unrest in Myanmar

3 July 2014 - 12:07am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

07/03/2014 08:24 GMT

YANGON, July 3, 2014 (AFP) - Buddhist-Muslim clashes have left two dead in Myanmar's second-largest city, authorities said Thursday, after a rape accusation triggered a new round of sectarian rioting in the former military-ruled nation.

Angry mobs rampaged through Mandalay for a second straight night in the latest of several waves of sectarian unrest that have exposed deep religious tensions in the Buddhist-majority Southeast Asian nation.

Inter-communal violence has overshadowed widely praised political reforms since erupting in 2012. It has largely targeted Muslims, leaving at least 250 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Buddhist rioters, some armed with sticks and knives, attacked a Muslim teashop on Tuesday and surrounding property in downtown Mandalay after an accusation of rape, according to local police.

Security forces fired rubber bullets in the early hours of Wednesday to try and disperse the crowds.

Unrest then broke out again late Wednesday despite an increase in security, with pockets of violence flaring across the centre of the city of some seven million people.

"Two men were killed" in attacks late Wednesday and into Thursday, Zaw Min Oo, a senior police officer in Mandalay, told AFP.

He said one of the victims was Buddhist and one was Muslim. About 10 other people were injured.

In a monthly radio address, Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein called for an end to religious hatred.

"As our country is a multi-racial and -religious nation, the current reform process will be successful only when stability is maintained through the co-operation of all the citizens by living harmoniously with one another," he said according to an official transcript.

"For the reform to be successful, I would like to urge all to avoid instigation and behaviour that incite hatred among our fellow citizens," he said.

The former general has been credited with pushing through dramatic reforms since the ex-junta handed power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.

But the sectarian conflicts have provided a major test for his administration and prompted warnings that the country's fragile transition towards democracy could be at risk.

Muslims in Myanmar account for an estimated four percent of the roughly 60 million population.

  • Radical monks -

Sectarian clashes flared up two years ago in western Rakhine state, with fighting that has displaced about 140,000 people, mainly stateless Rohingya Muslims.

It has since broadened into sporadic attacks against Muslim communities across the country, with violence often provoked by rumours or individual criminal acts.

Radical monks have been accused of stoking religious tensions with fiery warnings that Buddhism is under threat from Islam.

A prominent hardline monk, Wirathu, posted a link to online allegations against the teashop owners on his Facebook page just hours before the latest unrest flared up.

He has since posted only about Buddhist victims of the violence, ramping up the tension with allegations that Mandalay's mosques have issued a "jihad" with hundreds of people poised to launch an attack after receiving "military training".

A Mandalay resident, who was a friend of the slain Muslim, said the victim was beaten to death by a group of five or six men early Thursday.

"He did not have anything to do with the violence. He was just going to the mosque to pray," he told AFP, asking not to be named for fear of reprisals.

"We cannot say the situation in Mandalay has calmed down yet. We are living in fear. We do not know what will happen."

Mandalay, which is about a three hour drive from the capital Naypyidaw, has large Muslim and ethnic Chinese populations.

But it is also known as the country's monastic heartland and is home to tens of thousands of monks, including Wirathu.

His radical Buddhist nationalist movement has proposed boycotts of Muslim businesses and backed suggestions for a series of controversial laws -- due to be debated by parliament -- that would restrict religious freedoms.

Police in Mandalay said they were aware of the rape allegation but had not yet made any arrests.

nan-hla/klm/dr/ac

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Myanmar: Curfew imposed after two killed in Myanmar riots

3 July 2014 - 12:07am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

07/03/2014 14:02 GMT

MANDALAY, July 3, 2014 (AFP) - Myanmar's second-largest city was put under curfew on Thursday after two people were killed in the latest outbreak of Buddhist-Muslim violence to convulse the former junta-ruled nation.

Dozens of armed police were seen patrolling the tense streets of Mandalay where shops were shuttered after angry mobs rampaged through the normally bustling central metropolis for two consecutive nights.

Two men, one Buddhist and one Muslim, were killed in violence that continued into Thursday morning, police said.

It is the latest of several waves of sectarian unrest that have exposed deep religious tensions in the Buddhist-majority nation as it emerges from decades of military rule.

"We do not want the situation getting worse," senior Mandalay police officer Zaw Min Oo told AFP, explaining that the 9:00 pm to 5:00 am restrictions were for "security reasons".

Inter-communal violence has overshadowed widely praised political reforms since erupting in 2012. The unrest has largely targeted Muslims, leaving at least 250 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Buddhist rioters, some armed with sticks and knives, attacked a Muslim teashop on Tuesday and surrounding property in downtown Mandalay after an accusation of rape, according to local police.

Security forces fired rubber bullets in the early hours of Wednesday to try and disperse the crowds in violence that left at least five hurt.

Unrest then broke out again late Wednesday despite an increase in security, with pockets of violence flaring across the centre of the city of some seven million people.

Authorities said the two men were killed in separate attacks overnight which also injured 14 people. The information ministry said local police have arrested four people in relation to the violence.

In a monthly radio address, Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein said the country was a "multi-racial and -religious nation" that could only maintain stability if people live "harmoniously".

"For the reform to be successful, I would like to urge all to avoid instigation and behaviour that incite hatred among our fellow citizens," he said, according to an official transcript.

The former general has been credited with pushing through dramatic reforms since the ex-junta handed power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.

But the sectarian conflicts have prompted warnings that the country's fragile transition towards democracy could be at risk.

The US embassy in Yangon issued a message on its official Twitter feed urging calm.

"Rule by law not rumour and mob action (is) essential for justice, stability and development," it said.

Muslims in Myanmar account for at least four percent of the roughly 60 million population.

  • Radical monks -

Sectarian clashes flared up two years ago in western Rakhine state, with fighting that has displaced about 140,000 people, mainly stateless Rohingya Muslims.

It has since broadened into sporadic attacks against Muslim communities across the country, with violence often provoked by rumours or individual criminal acts.

Radical monks have been accused of stoking religious tensions with fiery warnings that Buddhism is under threat from Islam.

A prominent hardline cleric, Wirathu, posted a link to online allegations against the teashop owners on his Facebook page just hours before the latest unrest flared up.

He has since ramped up the tension with allegations that Mandalay's mosques have issued a "jihad" with hundreds of people poised to launch an attack after receiving "military training".

Mandalay residents expressed surprise and dismay at the violence.

"I don't understand what is happening. We have been living peacefully for a long time," Buddhist businessman Myo Min Thein told AFP after reading the curfew announcement stuck on a roadside lamppost.

A Mandalay resident, who was a friend of the slain Muslim, said the victim was beaten to death by a group of five or six men early Thursday.

"He did not have anything to do with the violence. He was just going to the mosque to pray," he told AFP, asking not to be named for fear of reprisals.

"We are living in fear. We do not know what will happen."

A funeral for the Muslim man, a popular local bicycle shop owner, was held Thursday.

A service for the Buddhist victim is due to be held on Friday.

Mandalay, which is about a three hour drive from the capital Naypyidaw, has large Muslim and ethnic Chinese populations.

But it is also known as the country's monastic heartland and is home to tens of thousands of monks, including Wirathu.

His Buddhist nationalist movement has proposed boycotts of Muslim businesses and backed suggestions for a series of controversial laws -- due to be debated by parliament -- that would restrict religious freedoms.

nan-hla/klm/kjl

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Myanmar: Two dead in Buddhist-Muslim unrest in Myanmar: police

3 July 2014 - 12:07am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

07/03/2014 04:44 GMT

YANGON, July 3, 2014 (AFP) - Two people have been killed during Buddhist-Muslim violence in Myanmar's second-largest city, police said Thursday after security forces fired rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of rioters.

Myanmar has been shaken by several waves of sectarian conflict in recent years that have cast a shadow over its emergence from decades of repressive military rule.

At least 250 people have been killed and tens of thousands left homeless since 2012 by inter-communal violence that has largely targeted Muslims.

Police fired rubber bullets during the night on Tuesday into Wednesday to disperse hundreds of rioters, some armed with sticks and knives, who took to the streets and attacked a Muslim teashop after an accusation of rape, the authorities said.

"There are two dead," a police officer, who did not want to be named, told AFP by telephone from the central city of Mandalay, without providing further details.

In a monthly radio address, Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein called for an end to religious hatred.

"As our country is a multi-racial and -religious nation, the current reform process will be successful only when stability is maintained through the co-operation of all the citizens by living harmoniously with one another," he said according to an official transcript.

"For the reform to be successful, I would like to urge all to avoid instigation and behaviour that incite hatred among our fellow citizens," he said.

The former general has been credited with pushing through dramatic reforms since the former junta handed power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.

But the sectarian conflicts have provided a major test for his administration and prompted warnings that the country's fragile transition towards democracy could be at risk.

Radical monks have been accused of stoking religious tensions with fiery warnings that Buddhism is under threat from Islam.

A prominent hardline monk, Wirathu, posted a link to online allegations against the teashop owners on his Facebook page just hours before the latest unrest flared up.

Rioters smashed or set fire to several cars and threw bricks and bottles at some houses, according to the state-controlled New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

It said that about 450 rioters with sticks and knives took to the streets, despite an increased security presence.

"We are investigating this riot and will take action against those involved in the mob attack," Mandalay police chief Zaw Win Aung was quoted as saying.

He said extra security forces would be deployed to restore order.

Myanmar's Muslims account for an estimated four percent of the roughly 60 million population in a country where for many people Buddhism forms an intrinsic part of national identity.

nan/dr/jah

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Myanmar: Burma – Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #3 (FY) 2014

2 July 2014 - 8:10pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Myanmar, United States of America preview

Highlights

  • U.N. agencies and international non-government organizations (NGOs) resume relief operations in Rakhine State.

  • Fighting between Government of Burma (GoB) forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) generates new displacement in Kachin and northern Shan states.

Thailand: Travel Restrictions Tighten for Burmese Refugees in Thailand

2 July 2014 - 11:12am
Source: Irrawaddy Country: Myanmar, Thailand

By SAW YAN NAING

RANGOON — The Thai junta, which has been ruling the country under martial law since May 22, has reportedly stepped up restrictions on the movement of more than 120,000 Burmese refugees living in camps along the Thai-Burma border.

Speaking with The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Saw Honest, chairman of the Mae La refugee camp, said those restrictions included a general ban on travel outside the camps and a curfew.

“Refugees are banned from leaving the camp to seek jobs. Refugees are banned from leaving their homes from 6 pm to 6 am,” he said. “Only those who have special conditions such as medical treatment or other emergency cases can travel, but need to seek official permission.

“Respective Thai security units at every camp informed us about the regulations. We are not allowed to go outside the camp, refugees have been warned not to engage in logging and drug dealing,” added Saw Honest, who oversees the administration of Mae La, the largest Thai border camp, where some 40,000 Burmese refugees reside.

“Those who violate the rules will be punished. And for those who repeatedly violate the rules, their names will be deleted from refugee camp [registries], and they will no longer be allowed to live in the camp, and they may even be deported back to Burma,” he added.

Saw Honest said refugees with special circumstances requiring travel outside the camps, such as for education or health reasons, were required to seek official permission from the respective Thai security units at the camps before traveling beyond their confines.

“We have a problem with the restrictions,” Saw Honest said. “But we can’t do anything now as it is the order of the Thai army. We may sort it out to ease the restrictions later because it is not a good time to do it now.”

He said the restrictions had been communicated to refugees after a meeting between local Thai authorities and community-based organizations in Mae La and other camps on Tuesday.

“We held a meeting and informed the refugees about the rules. The plan just started today. But we don’t know how long it will last, as they didn’t tell us. I think it might last until next election,” Saw Honest said. The Thai junta, which has branded itself the National Council for Peace and Order, has said it plans to hold an election in October of next year.

The orders come amid an ongoing reform program enacted by the junta that has included a sweeping crackdown on undocumented migrant workers that has forced more than 200,000 Cambodian laborers to return home. Hundreds of Burmese migrant workers have also been scrutinized, detained and deported back to Burma since early June.

The latest development is likely to affect daily life for tens of thousands of Burmese refugees, some of whom have lived in the camps for 25 years—a span during which Thailand has seen three coups. There are nine refugee camps spread across the Thai-Burma border.

Duncan McArthur, partnership director of The Border Consortium (TBC), a nongovernmental organization that has been providing humanitarian aid to the Burmese refugees for more than 20 years, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that Thai authorities were applying restrictions already on the books.

“TBC understands that the Thai district authorities have been ordered to enforce existing regulations more strictly, which will include restricting refugee movements outside of camps. Refugees with special circumstances will still be able to apply for permission to travel.

“District authorities in Tak province have called a series of meetings with UNHCR [UN High Commissioner for Refugees] and NGOs this week to clarify the situation,” McArthur said. “However, we understand that there will be no change in policy relating to the provision of humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

He said the TBC was not aware of any plans for Thai authorities to conduct identity checks at the camps. “Refugee status determination procedures have essentially been suspended since 2005, and we are not expecting official screening processes for unregistered refugees to resume any time soon,” according to McArthur.

But Ye Min, a Burmese refugee at the Nu Po border camp, claimed that screening, official or otherwise, would be taking place.

“They [Thai army] want to know how many people are real refugees and how many people illegally came to stay in the camp and lack proper documents,” he said.

Ye Min added that there were fears among the refugee population that those without proper documents, such as UN registration cards recognized by the Thai government, would be deported. Rumors were circulating that even UN cardholders would be subject to deportation or would have their status as a recognized refugee revoked if found traveling or residing outside the camps, Ye Min claimed.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR held a meeting on June 27 with Karen community-based organizations including the Karen Refugees Committee, Karen Women’s Organization, Karen Youth Organizations, and Karen Office for Relief and Development (KORD), seeking opinions from refugees about the ongoing peace process between the Burmese government and ethnic armed groups.

Asked about claims of impending refugee screenings, UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the UN refugee agency had not been informed of any such plan.

Led by Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and attended by representatives from four provinces including Tak, as well as NGOs, the UNHCR and other Thai authorities, a three-day meeting was held from June 17-19 in Mae Sot, Thailand, to discuss repatriation plans for refugees on the Thai-Burma border.

Over the last three years, the Burmese government and most ethnic armed groups have signed bilateral ceasefire agreements. Now, amid ongoing negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire accord, discussions among Thai authorities and aid groups on the border have turned to the eventual return of Burmese refugees to their homeland.

Thai authorities’ previously stated policy on the refugees is that they would be allowed to return to Burma on a purely voluntary basis.

McArthur said TBC was not aware of any change regarding that stance.

“TBC’s independent assessment remains that the conditions are not yet conducive for a voluntary return of refugees nor their sustainable reintegration in safety and with dignity,” he added.

World: Le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé - Rapport du Secrétaire général (A/68/878–S/2014/339)

2 July 2014 - 8:41am
Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan

Assemblée générale Soixante-huitième session Point 65 de l’ordre du jour Promotion et protection des droits de l’enfant

Conseil de sécurité Soixante-neuvième année

I. Introduction

  1. Soumis en application de la résolution 2068 (2012), par laquelle le Conseil de sécurité m’a prié de continuer à lui présenter, tous les ans, des rapports sur l’application de ses résolutions et des déclarations de son président concernant les enfants et les conflits armés, le présent rapport couvre la période allant de janvier à décembre 2013.

  2. Le rapport renseigne sur les tendances mondiales de l’impact des conflits armés sur les enfants en 2013 et les principales activités et initiatives menées en exécution des résolutions du Conseil de sécurité sur la question et les conclusions de son groupe de travail. Comme le précédent rapport (A/67/845-S/2013/245), le présent rapport rend compte de la coopération entre les partenaires concernant la question du sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé, y compris au sein du système des Nations Unies.

  3. Conformément aux résolutions du Conseil de sécurité sur la question, le rapport donne dans ses annexes la liste des parties qui recrutent et utilisent des enfants, commettent des violences sexuelles sur la personne d’enfants, des meurtres ou des atteintes à leur intégrité physique en violation du droit international, attaquent systématiquement les écoles et hôpitaux, ainsi que le personnel protégé, ou menacent de le faire.

  4. L’ONU a constaté et vérifié toutes les informations consignées dans le présent rapport. Elle a signalé les cas où des facteurs comme l’insécurité ou les restrictions d’accès l’ont empêchée de recueillir ou de vérifier des informations en toute indépendance. Le présent rapport est le fruit de vastes consultations menées au sein du système des Nations Unies, au Siège et sur le terrain, et avec les États Membres concernés.

  5. En application de la résolution 1612 (2005) du Conseil de sécurité et pour identifier les situations relevant de son mandat, ma Représentante spéciale pour les enfants et les conflits armés s’est guidée sur les critères dégagés par le droit international humanitaire et la jurisprudence internationale pour déterminer l’existence d’un conflit armé. Dans l’exercice de son mandat, elle a adopté une démarche pragmatique fondée sur la coopération et axée sur l’aspect humanitaire, le but étant d’assurer une protection étendue et efficace des enfants en détresse en temps de conflit. La mention dans le présent rapport de telle ou telle situation ne vaut pas qualification juridique de ladite situation et la mention de telle ou telle partie non étatique ne préjuge pas son statut juridique.

Myanmar: Myanmar/Kachin: WASH Cluster Snapshot, June 2014

2 July 2014 - 8:14am
Source: UN Children's Fund, WASH Cluster Country: Myanmar preview

Highlights of the month

  • Training of WASH Partners on 4W matrix realised in North Shan
  • Three days WASH training in Lashio were organized focusing on HP essentials, PHAST approach and KAP survey. 35 participants from 7 WASH cluster members
  • Preparation of cross line missions for Laiza and Mai Ja Yang
  • Technical support to WASH members for Technical briefs development in the perspective of Mid term Wash cluster review /learning workshop (25-26 June)
  • Finalization and sharing of Capacity building assessment report
  • Joint site planning WASH / Shelter clusters in North

Myanmar: Myanmar: Internal Displacement in Myanmar (1 June 2014)

2 July 2014 - 6:31am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar preview

Myanmar: Myanmar: Internal Displacement in Rakhine State (1 May 2014)

2 July 2014 - 6:29am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar preview

Myanmar: Myanmar: IDP Sites in Kachin and northern Shan States (1 June 2014)

2 July 2014 - 6:27am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar preview

Myanmar: Myanmar: Internal Displacement in Kachin and northern Shan States, as of 1 June 2014

2 July 2014 - 6:21am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar preview

Myanmar: Sectarian unrest shakes major Myanmar city

2 July 2014 - 4:39am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

07/02/2014 08:36 GMT

YANGON, July 2, 2014 (AFP) - Myanmar police fired warning shots after an angry mob attacked Muslim property in the central city of Mandalay, authorities said Wednesday, in the latest eruption of religious unrest to shake the Buddhist-majority nation.

Around five people were injured as rioters hurled stones at a Muslim teashop and surrounding buildings on Tuesday night, said Lieutenant Colonel Zaw Min Oo of Mandalay region police.

"We fired three warning shots to control the crowd," he told AFP, adding that the situation was calm on Wednesday morning, with an increased security presence in the area.

Myanmar has been convulsed by several waves of sectarian conflict in recent years that have cast a shadow over its emergence from military rule.

A senior police official who did not want to be named told AFP that the Mandalay rioters, who were armed with knives and stones, had been spurred on by claims against people from the teashop.

"The shop owners were accused of rape a few days ago. The violence started after those accusations were spread and created religious tension," he said.

One Muslim resident in Mandalay said the mob swelled into the hundreds as police struggled to contain the unrest late Tuesday.

Attacks against Muslims -- who make up at least four percent of the population -- have exposed deep rifts in Myanmar.

At least 250 people have been killed and tens of thousands left homeless since 2012 by inter-communal violence that has largely targeted Muslims and has often been provoked by rumours or individual criminal acts.

Hardline monk Wirathu posted a link to online allegations against the teashop owners on his Facebook page just hours before the unrest sparked.

The cleric is part of a radical wing of the Buddhist clergy that has been accused of stoking sectarian tensions with fiery warnings that Buddhism is under threat from Islam.

The radical Buddhists have proposed boycotts of Muslim businesses and supported controversial curbs on religious freedoms that are now being considered by the government.

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© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

World: Los niños y los conflictos armados - Informe del Secretario General (A/68/878–S/2014/339)

2 July 2014 - 4:27am
Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan preview

Asamblea General
Sexagésimo octavo período de sesiones
Tema 65 del programa
Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño

Consejo de Seguridad
Sexagésimo noveno año

I. Introducción

1.El presente informe, que abarca el período comprendido entre enero y diciembre de 2013, se presenta en cumplimiento de lo dispuesto en la resolución 2068 (2012) del Consejo de Seguridad, en la que el Consejo me solicitó que le siguiera presentando informes anuales sobre la aplicación de sus resoluciones y de las declaraciones de su Presidencia relativas a los niños y los conflictos armados.

2.En el informe se destacan las tendencias mundiales en relación con los efectos de los conflictos armados en los niños en 2013 y las principales actividades e iniciativas con respecto a la aplicación de las resoluciones pertinentes del Consejo de Seguridad y las conclusiones de su Grupo de Trabajo sobre los Niños y los Conflictos Armados. A modo de seguimiento del informe anterior (A/67/845-S/2013/245), en este informe se presentan datos actualizados sobre la cooperación entre los asociados del programa sobre los niños y los conflictos armados, incluso dentro del sistema de las Naciones Unidas.

3.De conformidad con las resoluciones del Consejo de Seguridad sobre los niños y los conflictos armados, en los anexos del presente informe se incluyen listas de las partes que, en contravención del derecho internacional, reclutan o utilizan niños, cometen actos de violencia sexual contra niños o causan la muerte o mutilación de niños o llevan a cabo ataques frecuentes contra escuelas u hospitales o agresiones o amenazas de agresión frecuentes contra personal protegido.

4.Las Naciones Unidas han investigado y documentado toda la información que se presenta en este informe y han verificado su exactitud. En los casos en que factores como la inseguridad o las restricciones de acceso limitaron la capacidad para obtener o verificar la información de modo independiente, esto se hace constar.
Durante la preparación del informe se celebraron amplias consultas en el seno de las Naciones Unidas, tanto en la Sede como sobre el terreno, y con los Estados Miembros pertinentes.

5.De conformidad con lo dispuesto en la resolución 1612 (2005) del Consejo de Seguridad, y para determinar las situaciones que abarca su mandato, mi Representante Especial para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados se atiene a los criterios que recogen el derecho internacional humanitario y la jurisprudencia internacional para determinar la existencia de un conflicto armado.
En el desempeño de su mandato, mi Representante Especial ha adoptado un enfoque pragmático y de cooperación en este ámbito haciendo hincapié en los principios humanitarios, a fin de proporcionar una protección amplia y eficaz a los niños afectados por los conflictos que se encuentran en situaciones preocupantes. La referencia a una situación no es una determinación jurídica y la mención de una parte no estatal no afecta a su estatuto jurídico.

World: Internews Europe: Annual Review 2013

2 July 2014 - 3:47am
Source: Internews Network Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, World preview

Internews Europe’s global programme team successfully implemented an ambitious portfolio of projects in 2013 to support local media and information systems in some of the most fragile, crisis-hit and poorest countries of the world.

The latest edition of Internews Europe's 2013 Annual Review summarises achievements across a diverse range of projects in more than 30 countries worldwide.

World: Communications with Communities Asia-­Pacific Newsletter June 2014

2 July 2014 - 2:32am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Solomon Islands, World preview

This update seeks to support growth in innovative policy, practice and partnerships in humanitarian action to better communicate with disaster­affected communities. Readers are encouraged to forward this email through their own networks.

**Myanmar **

OCHA Myanmar's May 2014 edition of the Humanitarian Bulletin talks about strengthening humanitarian partners' accountability to affected populations (AAP). ­­­ OCHA hosted a meeting with First Response Radio (FRR) on 11 June. Attended by Internews, BBC Media Action, International Media Support (IMS), UNICEF, MSF, UNHCR, UNIC, MIMU and Solidarities International. A general overview of FRR work in response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was shared. FRR is also looking to set up an office in Cambodia to support its operations in the region. ­­­ BBC Media Action held its 'Lifeline Workshop' from 16 to 18 June with some 30 participants, including government, humanitarian agencies and media working on simulations and Lifeline broadcasting. During this workshop, partners felt the need to build on the momentum through forming a coordinated approach to preparedness work, including targeted training sessions for clusters and government which should be tied in with contingency plan and future humanitarian simulation exercises.



World: Communications with Communities Asia-­Pacific Newsletter June 2014

2 July 2014 - 2:32am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Solomon Islands, World preview

This update seeks to support growth in innovative policy, practice and partnerships in humanitarian action to better communicate with disaster­affected communities. Readers are encouraged to forward this email through their own networks.

**Myanmar **

OCHA Myanmar's May 2014 edition of the Humanitarian Bulletin talks about strengthening humanitarian partners' accountability to affected populations (AAP). ­­­ OCHA hosted a meeting with First Response Radio (FRR) on 11 June. Attended by Internews, BBC Media Action, International Media Support (IMS), UNICEF, MSF, UNHCR, UNIC, MIMU and Solidarities International. A general overview of FRR work in response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was shared. FRR is also looking to set up an office in Cambodia to support its operations in the region. ­­­ BBC Media Action held its 'Lifeline Workshop' from 16 to 18 June with some 30 participants, including government, humanitarian agencies and media working on simulations and Lifeline broadcasting. During this workshop, partners felt the need to build on the momentum through forming a coordinated approach to preparedness work, including targeted training sessions for clusters and government which should be tied in with contingency plan and future humanitarian simulation exercises.