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Myanmar violence raises new concerns

Aug. 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM   |   Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Peaceful dialogue is needed in Myanmar to resolve differences following deadly clashes in the western coastal state of Rakhine, the United Nations said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said it was concerned by reports of clashes in Rakhine, which left one person dead and 10 others injured last week. The refugee agency said it was calling for dialogue between members of the displaced Muslim community in Rakhine and national authorities.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said the situation had calmed down enough for humanitarian workers to gain access to camps set up for the internally displaced. Myanmar and members of the international community are struggling to address conflict between minority Muslims in Rakhine and member of the Buddhist community.

"UNHCR is reiterating its call for peaceful dialogue and confidence building between the [internally displaced persons] and government," Edwards said Tuesday. "We believe this is key to avoiding further violence."

The UNHCR said conflict erupted between refugees and police regarding the handling of a dead body found in a camp for the internally displaced last week.

Nearly 140,000 people have been displaced by conflict in Rakhine since last year.

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