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ASIA > Myanmar’s authorities fail: Watchdog

BANGKOK - Agence France-Presse

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Myanmar security forces opened fire on Rohingya Muslims, committed rape and stood by as rival mobs attacked each other during a recent wave of sectarian violence, a rights watchdog said yesterday. The authorities failed to protect both Muslims and Buddhists and then “unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report.

The violence which erupted in June in Rakhine state between Buddhists and Rohingya has left about 80 people dead from both sides, based on official figures, an estimate that HRW said appeared “grossly underestimated”. Hundreds of Rohingya people have been rounded up and remain incommunicado in the western region of the country, it said.

“What is remarkable is that if the atrocities that we saw in Arakan had happened before the government reform process had started, the international reaction would have been swift and strong,” said HRW Asia deputy director Phil Robertson.

August/02/2012

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