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Myanmar has been unsuccessful in resolving the sectarian violence prevalent in the country despite attempts by itsPresident Thein Sein [BBC profile; official website, in Burmese] to bring peace to the communities. Last week spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) [official website] Melissa Fleming reported that 10 UN staff and aid workers have beenarrested [JURIST report] in the northwestern Rakhine state and three of them are facing unknown criminal charges. In June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website]urged [JURIST report] the Chinese government to provide basic food and shelter needs to refugees from Myanmar after finding refugee abuse. Earlier in June, HRW also called on [JURIST report] Bangladesh to open its borders to Myanmar refugees a day after it demanded Myanmar ensure the safety of communities in the Arakan State subject to the violence between Arakan Buddhists and ethnic Rohingya Muslims. In March, HRW reported [JURIST report] that violence and rights abuses continue in Myanmar's northern state of Kachin due to the conflict between Myanmar's armed forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) [BBC backgrounder]. During the same month, Tomas Ojea Quintana [official profile], the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar urged [JURIST report] the country to ensure the protection of human rights. In November, Human rights group Partners Relief and Development [advocacy website] issued [JURIST report] a report [text, PDF, graphic content] which alleged that the army may be committing war crimes including torture and forced labor against ethnic communities in Kachin state.
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