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Myanmar sentences 3 UN staff to jail for violence

Myanmar sentences 3 UN staff to jail for violence

A court in Myanmar has sentenced three United Nations staff members to prison terms for their alleged involvement in a spate of bloody communal violence in the west of the country in June, a U.N. spokesman said Monday.
A court in the Rakhine state town of Maungdaw handed down the punishments on Friday, spokesman Aye Win told The Associated Press. Two U.N. refugee agency workers received jail terms of six and three years, while a U.N. World Food Program staffer was sentenced to two years, he said.
Aye Win had no immediate comment on the news, and the world body has issued no official statement.
The staffers were charged with various crimes, including promoting hatred between Buddhist and Muslims, and participation in arson attacks. All are believed to be Myanmar citizens from the region's Muslim community.
Violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims exploded in June, leaving more 80 people dead and thousands of homes burned to the ground. Human rights groups say around 100,000 people were displaced during the conflict. They have accused the government over cracking down too harshly on Muslims, allegations the government has denied.
Humanitarian groups say that in all, at least 12 local staff employed by international aid groups were detained by the government in June for suspected involvement in the unrest. Six have so far been released.
Last week, Doctors Without Borders said that two of its staff were still being held, while the U.N. refugee agency said two Myanmar nationals on its staff were in custody. The World Food Program is also believed to have staff who have been detained, but it has given no details about them.


Updated : 2021-03-01 12:48 GMT+08:00