Clashes in Myanmar claim the lives of 78

Ethnic violence continues

 

Clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities in western Myanmar have reportedly killed at least 78 people and displaced thousands last month, the United Nations (UN) said on Friday.

 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights NaviPillay expressed serious concern about reports of human rights violations committed by security forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the clashes have taken places, stating that reports include “discriminatory and arbitrary responses by security forces, and even their instigation of and involvement in clashes.”

 

Trigger

 

Violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the state was triggered after an ethnic Rakhine woman was raped and murdered on May 28, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This incident was then followed by the killing of 10 Muslims by an unidentified mob on June 3.

 

The violence has affected over 30,000 people, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has continued its help with additional tents.

 

In a news release, Pillay added that reports – from independent sources – indicate that “the initial swift response of the authorities to the communal violence may have turned into a crackdown targeting Muslims, in particular members of the Rohingya [Muslim] community.”

 

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