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Response to violence in Rakhine

UK and US Embassies express concern over violence in Rakhine State.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The US and the UK are deeply troubled by reports of violence in Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State. We are saddened to hear reports that several people have been killed, many injured, at least one missing, and hundreds of civilians displaced in violence that included looting and destruction of homes and property in Du Chee Yar Tan village.

We are particularly disturbed by reports that security forces used excessive means and thus perpetrated some of the violence. We strongly condemn such acts of violence, which negatively impact all inhabitants of Rakhine State. We urge the authorities to thoroughly investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the violence, whether civilian or security personnel.

This incident reaffirms the need for the Union government and local authorities to take urgent, concrete steps to address security, rule of law, justice, humanitarian access, and reconciliation in Rakhine State to stem the sources of on-going tension, and create conditions for the State’s sustainable peace and development. Government actions to date have clearly been insufficient. The international community repeats its call for the government to take swift and decisive action to address the underlying causes of conflict and pursue durable solutions. This includes creating an inclusive dialogue among all residents securing an environment for displaced people to return to their homes, ensuring humanitarian access, and enabling a path to citizenship for eligible Muslim residents of Rakhine State. Dialogue and rule of law must replace violence and lawlessness if Rakhine State is to realize its full potential.

We continue to call on religious and civil society leaders, and all citizens throughout the country, to stand against violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities, and to promote understanding, mutual respect, equal justice, and peaceful co-existence among all people in this diverse country.

Published 17 January 2014