UN seeks inquiry on Rakhine violence in Burma

Burma Violence

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has called for an independent investigation after claims of abuses by security forces in Burma''s Rakhine state.

Pillay said that forces sent to quash violence in the northern state were reported to be targeting Muslims.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that about 80,000 people have been displaced following inter-communal violence.

The agency said most of those displaced are living in camps and more tents are being airlifted in to help them.

The latest violence in Rakhine began in May when a Buddhist ethnic Rakhine woman was raped and murdered by three Muslims.On 3 June, an unidentified mob killed 10 Muslims.

Pillay''s office said that since then at least 78 people have been killed in ensuing violence but unofficial estimates are higher.

"We have been receiving a stream of reports from independent sources alleging discriminatory and arbitrary responses by security forces, and even their instigation of and involvement in clashes," Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

"Reports indicate that the initial swift response of the authorities to the communal violence may have turned into a crackdown targeting Muslims, in particular members of the Rohingya community," Pillay added.

She welcomed a government decision to allow a UN envoy access to Rakhine state next week, but said it was 'no substitute for a fully-fledged independent investigation'.

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