BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Peaceful dialogue and confidence building between the displaced Rohingya Muslims and the Myanmar government is “key to avoiding further violence” in the country, the United Nations said on Tuesday, after at least two people died in violent clashes in Rakhine state in western Myanmar.
On Friday, a dispute over custody of a dead Rohingya quickly escalated into a day of clashes in which witnesses said police raked Rohingya crowds with gunfire for the third time in two months.
On Tuesday, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said, without giving asource, that one of the shooting victims had been reported on Sunday as having died from his injuries.
Some 140,000 people, the vast majority of them stateless Rohingya Muslims who Myanmar does not recognise as citizens, have been displaced since two bouts of communal violence between Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists last year.
The displaced Rohingya are living in sprawling, squalid displacement camps where there is little or no access to work or basic services.
The situation remained tense as Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, arrived in Sittwe on Monday and was met by Rakhine Buddhist protesters wearing T-shirts reading "Get Out" and carrying signs labelling him a "Bengali Lobbyist".