8 August 2012

Africa: South Africa Calls for an End to Violence in the Rakhine State, Myanmar

press release

The South African Government is extremely concerned about reports of ongoing sectarian violence in the Rakhine State in Myanmar between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and stateless Muslim Rohingyas. The violence first erupted in June 2012 and has left at least 78 dead and tens of thousands homeless.

The South African Government has taken note of the statement of United Nations human rights envoy to Myanmar, Mr Tomas Ojea Quintana, following his visit to Myanmar last week. Mr Quintana expressed grave concern about allegations of serious human rights violations committed as part of measures to restore law and order, including extrajudicial killings and torture by police and soldiers.

The South African Government urges all parties to halt the violence in order to avoid further human suffering. In particular, the South Africa Government appeals to the Government of Myanmar to address the current situation in Rakhine state within the ambit of the law, upholding the rights of all those living within its borders.

The South African Government is mindful of the manifold challenges confronting the government and the people of Myanmar and has full faith that the Government of Myanmar will continue its process of democratisation and political reform in order to deliver sustainable development and stability and to contribute to national reconciliation.

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