2013-03-26 12:31:29

Rise in sectarian violence in Burma

(Vatican Radio) Soldiers have pulled more bodies from the wreckage of a riot-hit city in central Myanmar, bringing the death toll from recent violence to 40.

The upsurge in sectarian unrest has cast a shadow over President Thein Sein's administration as it struggles to make democratic changes after a half-century of military rule.

“What we’ve seen in the past week in Burma is anti-Muslim violence spreading from Rakhine state, where it was particularly being targeted against the Rohingya,” says Mark Farmaner, the Director of advocacy group Burma Campaign UK.

“We’re very concerned about this because it’s spreading. And there seems to be no steps taken by either the government of Burma or the democracy movement leaders or other religious leaders to try to tackle this.”

Farmaner said security must be improved to prevent attacks, and incitements to violence must be stopped. He added “the humanitarian access is a desperate situation there.” He called for full and free humanitarian access.

“There’s a whole range of different things the international community could be doing, but at the moment there’s a lot of hand-wringing and not enough action.”

Listen to the full interview of Burma UK Director Mark Farmaner with Christopher Wells: RealAudioMP3

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.