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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid