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    Anti-Muslim violence displaces thousands in western Myanmar: UN

    File photo shows
    Muslim Rohingyas at the Say Thamagyi Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp,
    located on the outskirts of Sittwe, capital of Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.

    June 18, 2013

    A United Nations
    agency says thousands of people remain displaced in Myanmar a year after
    extremist Buddhists launched deadly attacks against Rohingya Muslims in the
    country’s Rakhine State.
    The UN Office for
    the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday that some over
    140,000 people remain in camps with little hope of returning home.
    The UN sources
    noted that the violence has claimed up to 167 lives and destroyed 10,000
    buildings in the troubled region.
    Myanmar Army forces
    allegedly provided the fanatics with containers of petrol for torching the
    houses of Muslim villagers, who were then forced to flee. Myanmar’s government
    has been repeatedly criticized for failing to protect the Muslim minority.
    International and
    rights groups accuse Myanmar’s Buddhists of systematic attacks on Muslims,
    particularly the Rohingyas.
    The international
    organizations also accuse the government of failing to protect the Muslim
    minority. Large numbers of Muslims have been killed, and tens of thousands
    displaced as a result of violence in recent years.
    “The
    consequences of statelessness for Muslims in the Rakhine State continue to have
    a direct effect on the fundamental human rights, and social and economic
    development of Myanmar,” said Ashok Nigam, UN humanitarian coordinator for
    Myanmar on Tuesday.
    The extremists
    frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages
    in western state of Rakhine.
    Rohingya Muslims
    have faced torture, neglect, and repression in Myanmar for many years.
    Thousands of
    Rohingyas in Rakhine are deprived of citizenship rights, becoming vulnerable to
    acts of violence, expulsion, and displacement.