UN Aid Chief Voices Concern at Outbreak of Violence in Myanmar

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YANGON (IINA) – UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien is deeply troubled by the recent outbreak of violence in the northern part of Rakhine State where around 120,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in dire conditions in displacement camps.

“The recent violence in Rakhine State is deeply troubling and the immediate priority must be to prevent further violence and to ensure the protection of all civilians,” O’Brien said at the conclusion of a three-day mission to Myanmar on Friday.

“All people in Rakhine State, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or citizenship status, must have safe access to their nearest hospital or medical center, to regular schools and to livelihoods,” he added.
The top UN aid official called on all sides in Myanmar to find peaceful ways to resolve their differences and urged strengthened humanitarian action to support the people affected by violence in the country, according to a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) from Yangon.

O’Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, traveled to Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, where he saw first-hand the level of poverty that the people of Rakhine endure and witnessed the dire living conditions and hardships endured by Muslim communities who are still denied freedom of movement. He also met with some distressed Rakhine women who had only just arrived in Sittwe after fleeing the recent violence in northern Rakhine.

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