UN voices concern as fresh fighting in Myanmar uproots thousands

28 August 2009 – The United Nations refugee agency today voiced its concern about reports that between 10,000 and 30,000 refugees have fled violence in Myanmar’s north-eastern Shan state in recent weeks and headed to China’s Yunnan province.

Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva that the agency is liaising with the authorities to investigate what the needs of the refugees are.

“Our information is that as many as 30,000 people may have taken shelter in Nansan county since 8 August, saying they were fleeing fighting between Myanmar Government troops and ethnic minority groups,” he stated.

According to information received by UNHCR, local authorities in Yunnan Province have already provided emergency shelter, food and medical care to the refugees.

“UNHCR has reiterated its readiness to provide support to the authorities in responding to the needs of these refugees,” said Mr. Mahecic.

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