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Rohingya curfew extended

UN rights envoy arrives in Rakhine

Rohingya curfew extended
Many Rohingyas have ended up in camps in Rakhine state (photo by Daniel Wynn)
Daniel Wynn, Yangon

February 12, 2013

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Authorities in Rakhine state have extended a night-time curfew in Muslim minority Rohingya areas, citing ongoing safety concerns after sectarian violence erupted in June and October last year.

Residents of Maungdaw, one of three predominantly Rohingya areas close to the Bangladesh border, said the announcement was made on Monday.

The area has stabilized after violence between Rohingyas and Buddhists led to the deaths of about 200 people and the displacement of 100,000 as homes were burned to the ground in tit-for-tat attacks last year.

But the order enacting a curfew between 10pm and 4am was due to expire this week and needed to be extended to guarantee the safety of both communities, said local government spokesman Win Myaing.

Those displaced would not be able to return home for the time being and would instead have to stay in special camps, he added.

Critics have noted that many displaced people have remained stuck – and segregated – in these camps for more than six months.

Meanwhile, Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, arrived in Rakhine state on Monday to assess the situation.

“I would like to see the conditions in the camps for the internally displaced, which I was particularly concerned about following my previous visit in August,” he said in a statement last week ahead of arriving in Myanmar.

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