December 13, 2017
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UN urges dialogue between displaced people, Myanmar gov't

The injured are evacuated following a clash between the police and Muslim Rohingyas at an IDP camp in Sittwe, Rakhine State on August 9, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / STR

The UN Refugee Agency reiterated its call for peaceful dialogue after recent clashes between displaced Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state and national authorities left one people dead and 10 others injured.

Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, cited the refugee agency as saying that dialogue is crucial to avoiding further violence, noting that conflict between local Buddhists and Muslim communities last year has left some 140, 000 people homeless in Rakhine.

The latest incident started on Friday when a group of displaced people and local police clashed over the handling of a dead body which was washed ashore in Hmansi village, Sittwe, capital of Rakhine state. Rumors spread among Rohingya Muslims that the dead was killed by police.

Several waves of sectarian clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, starting from last June, have exposed deep fractures in the Buddhist-majority nation.

An additional 36,000 people in isolated areas and host communities in the Rakhine have also been adversely affected, with little access to work and basic services, according to the UN.

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