Junta Closing Cyclone Shelters
UN official denounces coerced moves
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2008 12:16 PM CDT
A man looks out at damaged roof sections being used to gather storm water into large jugs in Pyinmagon village on an island in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta, Thursday, May 29, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Burmese junta has reportedly begun closing shelters and telling cyclone victims to return to their decimated villages, a move that drew strong condemnation from a UN official, the BBC reports. Military leaders, apparently worried that the camps will become permanent aid centers, have given victims tents and bamboo poles and told them to rebuild their lives, says a UNICEF official.

"People need to be assisted in the settlements and satisfactory conditions need to be created before they can return to their place of origins," said Terje Skavdal of the UN Humanitarian Affairs office. "Any forced or coerced movement of people is completely unacceptable." The cyclone has left 2.4 million people homeless.