New York, Aug 28 (IBNS): Two United Nations employees have been sentenced by a Myanmar court in connection with the violent unrest that recently gripped the country’s Rakhine state in June, a spokesperson for the Organization said Monday.
One employee of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), one of the World Food Programme (WFP), and another person working for UNHCR’s partner organization were sentenced at a court in Maungdaw, in the westernmost part of Myanmar.
Addressing the media at UN Headquarters in New York, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said that no further information was provided by the local authorities to UN officials in Myanmar’s capital, Yangon.
“The UN has consistently held that formal and precise charges would need to be provided to us before action is taken by the Myanmar authorities,” Nesirky said. “We would like to indicate that the detained staff should be treated in accordance with all the applicable international conventions and immunities they may be entitled to.”
In June, serious disturbances in Rakhine state led to the Government declaring a state of emergency there. According to reports, the violence between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, while internally displacing some 30,000 people.
The UN also temporarily relocated, on a voluntary basis, some of its staff based in the towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, as well as Rakhine state’s capital, Sittwe.