Persecution continuing in Rakhine: US team
A US team, which has recently visited violence-torn Rakhine state of Myanmar, yesterday said serious insecurity, tension, persecution and displacement of people continued in Rakhine and stressed access of international aid agencies to supply humanitarian assistance.
“Tension is very much evident and displacement continues. A large number of people continue to be displaced. So the challenge is very much grave there,” said Kelly Clements, US deputy assistant secretary for Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
Two delegates of the four-member US team gave this impression at a press conference at American Centre. They have visited the worst affected Sittew and Mongdu areas in Rakhine state torn by June's ethnic violence.
They identified immediate humanitarian assistance as the top most priority in Rakhine.
The US team visited Myanmar on September 7-10 and Bangladesh on 11-13 to assess the current situations and hold talks with government officials about how to reduce tension and improve humanitarian situation in the long term.
Kelly and her colleague Daniel Baer, who is deputy assistant secretary for US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said they talked to local leaders and victims in Arakan state as well as refugees in two camps in Cox's Bazar to get first hand impression of the situations.
Asked whether they feel that the Myanmar government has failed to address the ethnic problem, Kelly said it should be the high priority to bring the prevailing tension under control.
For a long-term solution, she said understanding between communities (Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists), reconciliation and reintegration were needed so that they could return to their homes.
On Bangladesh government's call to international community to invest in Rakhaine state to create livelihood for the people to stop Rohingya influx into Bangladesh, Kelly said one of our impressions was that improving livelihood and economic development were some of the challenges.