News / Asia

    UN Concerned About Outbreak of Violence in Western Burma

    An elderly Muslim Rohingya man outside his tent at the Dabang Internally Displaced Persons camp, located on the outskirts of Sittwe, capital of Burma's western Rakhine state, October 10, 2012An elderly Muslim Rohingya man outside his tent at the Dabang Internally Displaced Persons camp, located on the outskirts of Sittwe, capital of Burma's western Rakhine state, October 10, 2012
    x
    An elderly Muslim Rohingya man outside his tent at the Dabang Internally Displaced Persons camp, located on the outskirts of Sittwe, capital of Burma's western Rakhine state, October 10, 2012
    An elderly Muslim Rohingya man outside his tent at the Dabang Internally Displaced Persons camp, located on the outskirts of Sittwe, capital of Burma's western Rakhine state, October 10, 2012
    VOA News
    The United Nations has expressed concern about the most recent outbreak of communal violence in five townships in Burma's Northern Rakhine region.

    The spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement Thursday, saying  the widening mistrust between the communities is being exploited by militant and criminal elements, to cause large-scale loss of human lives, material destruction, displaced families as well as fear, humiliation and hatred.

    The U.N. statement calls on Burmese authorities to bring under control lawlessness and vigilante attacks and to put a stop to threats and extremist rhetoric.

    New violance

    Fighting and chaos appear to be taking hold in western Burma, where a deep-seeded conflict between Buddhists and Muslims has flared with deadly consequences.

    Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing Thursday said at least 56 people have died since new fighting erupted Sunday, including 31 women.  Dozens of others have been injured.

    Parts of the area also have been burned to the ground.

    Burmese officials said almost 2,000 homes have now been razed by fires, along with eight religious buildings, since these latest clashes erupted.  

    Survivors are telling harrowing tales of the violence, including one man who said his father, Sein Thar Aung, was seriously injured during Monday's fighting in the town of Mrauk Oo.

    "They (the Rohingya) were on the village road and we were on the outside one before a clash.  He (SEIN THAR AUNG) was leading ahead of our group and then withdrawing back when a Kalar (Rohingya) jumped out from a house through a window and stabbed him with a spear,'' the man said.

    Zaw Htay, in the office of the president, tells VOA Burmese that the government is taking action.

    "In dealing with this situation, first the state government has imposed curfew.  Next, the president recently ordered to send more security forces over there," Zaw Htay said.

    Curfews also are being imposed on four towns at the center of the violence -- Mrauk Oo, Myebon, Minbya and Kyauk Phyu.  But some witnesses say the army has so far been unable to bring any calm, with others claiming that soldiers were firing randomly into crowds to break up the fighting.

    International Reaction

    From Rangoon, United Nations coordinator Ashok Nigam issued a statement saying the U.N. is "gravely concerned," adding that the fighting "has forced thousands of people, including women and children, to flee their homes."

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also called on all sides to exercise restraint.

    "We join the international community and call on authorities within the country, including the government, civil and religious leaders, to take immediate action to halt the ongoing violence, to grant full humanitarian access to the affected areas and to begin a dialogue toward a peaceful resolution ensuring expeditious and transparent investigation into these and previous incidents," Nuland said.

    Nuland also said the violence "underscores the critical need for mutual respect among all ethnic and religious groups."

    The violence is the worst to grip the region since June, when widespread clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims left dozens dead and tens of thousands displaced.  The unrest prompted fears of a humanitarian crisis among the Rohingya, who are denied citizenship and many other basic rights in Burma.

    The ongoing violence also is threatening to undermine the reforms enacted by Burma's new nominally civilian government.

    Some rights groups say the Burmese military, which has a long history of abusing minorities, unfairly targeted Muslims during the unrest.  Burma's government denies the charges.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: AgMg from: USA
    October 25, 2012 9:22 PM
    Illegal Bangalis( called themself ROHINJA) dodn't accepted President's speech of un acceptance of OIC office in Burma land. They began committed all the ways of their plots. Burnt their home and run away but fire continued to all over the city of Native Rakhine people's homes too. Everything happening this time are committed from Those Illegal Bangalis. They tried in Rangoon too, but they failed. Please International Muslim countries call up them to your chest warmly because they don't want to stay in good attitude in Burma.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora