UNHCR saddened by loss of life in Indonesia detention centre incident

Briefing Notes, 5 April 2013

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 5 April 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The UN refugee agency is saddened by reports of fatalities and injuries following a disturbance early this morning at a detention centre in Medan, in Indonesia's Northern Sumatra.

According to local authorities, eight people have died and 15 are injured after fighting broke out between asylum seekers and others from Myanmar in the detention centre. UNHCR is calling for calm among the groups and urging the Indonesian authorities to take action to prevent further violence, including moving individuals into community housing as soon as possible.

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One Year On: Rebuilding Aceh

In the aftermath of the devastating 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, UNHCR mounted a massive relief operation for some 100,000 survivors on the severely battered west coast of Indonesia's Aceh province.

After the initial three-month emergency relief phase was over, UNHCR withdrew from Aceh. However, in June 2005, after the Indonesian government had assessed the needs for the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase, UNHCR returned to assist in rebuilding the west coast communities. All the survivors' main infrastructural needs – such as schools, community centres, places of worship and family homes – have been included in the holistic reconstruction effort, and efforts have been made to ensure they are all designed to suit the Acehnese way of life. Rebuilding is already underway in the villages of Kreung Sabee and in Calang.

UNHCR has also been helping the recovery effort on Nias Island, off the coast of Sumatra, which was struck by an 8.7 magnitude earthquake on 28 March.

One Year On: Rebuilding Aceh