United Nations welcomes Myanmar’s moves to address violence in Rakhine state - Pakistan Today

United Nations welcomes Myanmar’s moves to address violence in Rakhine state

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed moves by Myanmar’s leadership to address the violence taking place in the country’s Rakhine state as “steps in the right direction,” to his spokesperson said Friday.
He said the UN chief received a letter on Friday from the President of
Myanmar, U Thein Sein, in which he condemned the “criminal acts” of elements inside his country that caused the “senseless violence” that resulted in widespread loss of life, destruction of property and displacement of families in Rakhine state, located in western Myanmar.
In the letter, the President promised to deal with the perpetrators in accordance with the rule of law. The north of Rakhine state has been the site of inter-communal violence over recent months. The violence first began in June, with clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, which eventually led the Government to declare a state of emergency there. The violence reportedly left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, while internally displacing some 75,000 people. Since then, at least 89 people have been killed and 35,000 displaced in the wake of a renewed upsurge in violence, beginning in late September, which also left more than 5,300 houses and religious buildings destroyed, according to UN estimates.
In President Sein’s letter, according to the UN spokesperson, he also noted that “once emotions subside on all sides,” his Government was prepared to “address contentious political dimensions, ranging from resettlement of displaced populations to granting of citizenship,” as well as to look at “issues of birth registration, work permits and permits for movement across the country for all, in line with a uniform national practice across the country ensuring that they are in keeping with accepted international norms.”
In addition, the President underlined the commitment of the Myanmar Government to meet the humanitarian needs of individuals and communities in the affected areas of Rakhine state and sought wider international assistance and cooperation in this regard. According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), more than 27,000 people in the townships affected by the state’s inter-communal violence have received humanitarian assistance; however, it estimates that a total of $11 million will be required to cover the food needs for all 110,000 displaced people for the next six months.
Separately, President Sein met Friday with senior members of the state’s communities, including members of the clergy, the spokesperson noted, adding that the President strongly called upon these leaders to exert maximum effort to foster harmony and cooperation between the communities.

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