U.K. sees 'challenges ahead' for Myanmar

Nov. 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The British government said it welcomed a decision by the United Nations to adopt a resolution addressing human rights issues in Myanmar.

Hugo Swire, a minister of state for the British Foreign Office, said he welcomed a consensus resolution at the U.N. General Assembly addressing human rights issues in Myanmar, a country known also as Burma.

He said Myanmar was right to be recognized for the political reforms that began with general elections in 2010.

"It is also important that we recognize the challenges ahead," he said in a statement.

Violence pitting Muslim and Buddhist communities against each other in the coastal state of Rakhine caused widespread displacement and left dozens of people dead. Swire added that, despite some releases, there are still a "significant number of political prisoners" behind bars.

Myanmar President Thein Sein told the U.N. General Assembly that his government was working with various armed groups in the country on cease-fire agreements.

"While the government is resolutely pursuing political, social and economic reforms, some unfortunate and unexpected issues have come up in our way," he said.

The United Nations announced that the thousands of people displaced by violence in Rakhine state would get some relief from the $5.3 million in assistance offered by the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund.

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