UNITED NATIONS : The United Nations humanitarian chief on Thursday voiced deep concern about reports of alarming levels of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, including the killing of many civilians and a policeman, and called for an immediate investigation by the authorities.
According to news reports, security forces last week killed at least 40 Rohingya Muslims, including women and children, in Maungdaw Township of Rakhine state. Government officials, meanwhile, have denied these reports.
There were also reports of attacks on police.
Over 110,000 people, mostly Muslims, have been uprooted from the state in Buddhist-Muslim violence in the past 18 months.
“I ask the Government of Myanmar to take all necessary measures to ensure the full protection of all civilians and to enable safe and continued access by humanitarian staff to the affected areas in order to assess needs and provide emergency assistance to all those affected by
the recent violence,” Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement.
“I also ask the Government to immediately launch an impartial investigation into these events and to respect the rights of those arrested and detained in connection with this incident,” she added. Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, called on the Government to investigate reports of the fatal clashes between security forces and Muslims in Rakhine state.
Ojea Quintana said the human rights situation in Rakhine state is posing one of the most serious threats to the process of democratic reform and national reconciliation in Myanmar.