Burma

Myanmar to Relocate Rohingya IDP Camp, Build Houses and Infrastructure

By Thiha Lwin 22 May 2020

NAYPYITAW—An internally displaced people (IDP) camp for Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu will be moved to a new location and given formal infrastructure at a cost of over 2 billion kyats (US$1.4 million), according to Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Major General Than Htut.

The Union government has given approval to spend 2.1 billion kyats, according to an estimate by the Rakhine State government, from the presidential emergency funds to relocate the Kyauktalone camp in Kyaukphyu. The Union Parliament approved the spending during its session on Thursday.

“The Rakhine State government will take responsibility for this relocation,” Maj-Gen Than Htut told the Parliament.

According to the major general, the camp will be relocated to another location nearby and there are plans to construct 363 houses, schools, flush toilets, warehouses and gravel roads as well as to install running water and electricity. He also said the government will compensate the current owners of the land where the new site is located.

The camp was opened to house Muslims following the waves of sectarian violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims in the ethnically and religiously diverse state in 2012. Around 1,000 people are currently taking shelter at the camp, said Lower House lawmaker U Ba Shein of Kyaukphyu Township.

“As their current camp is wearing down, [the government] is working to move them to a better place and provide them with better access to water and electricity,” he said.

The deputy border affairs minister told Parliament that officials decided to pay for the relocation costs using emergency funds from the President during a meeting on Monday about the closing of the camp led by State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The plan to close camps for Muslim IDPs is part of the national strategy on the resettlement of IDPs and the closing temporary IDP camps, which has been implemented by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement since 2018.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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