U.N. pulls staff from Rakhine state

Aug. 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The United Nations said it relocated some staff members in Myanmar after two employees were arrested in connection with violence in Rakhine state.

Myanmar declared a state of emergency in Rakhine after clashes between the Buddhist and Muslim communities. The United Nations said "at least a dozen" people were killed in the violence and at least 50,000 others were displaced.

U.N. employees voluntarily relocated from parts of the state after a worker with the World Food Program and one with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees were sentenced in court for their alleged role in the violence.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky called on authorities in Myanmar to treat detained staff according to international conventions.

"The U.N. has consistently held that formal and precise charges would need to be provided to us before action is taken by the Myanmar authorities," he said in a statement.

Nesirky provided few details surrounding the sentencing.

The government in Myanmar last week established a 27-member coalition of national leaders to probe violence in Rakhine, near the border with Bangladesh.

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