25 October 2012

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Urges Swift Action by Myanmar Government


to Stop Vigilante Attacks in Northern Rakhine


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The most recent outbreak of communal violence in five townships in northern Rakhine is deeply troubling.  The widening mistrust between the communities is being exploited by militant and criminal elements to cause large-scale loss of human lives, material destruction, displaced families, as well as fear, humiliation and hatred affecting the people from all walks of life.

While the Secretary-General notes the clear recognition at the highest political levels in Myanmar of the need to contain this communal violence, he calls on the authorities to take urgent and effective action to bring under control all cases of lawlessness.  The vigilante attacks, targeted threats and extremist rhetoric must be stopped.  If this is not done, the fabric of social order could be irreparably damaged and the reform and opening up process being currently pursued by the Government is likely to be jeopardized.

Myanmar is striving to be an example of tolerance and moderation in Asia and the world.  Such events must not be allowed to tarnish its efforts.  The United Nations is ready to do whatever is necessary to alleviate the situation and bring tranquillity and harmony to the region.

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For information media • not an official record