The United Nations has urged Myanmar to investigate recent killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.
On Thursday, the United Nations expressed concern over the growing levels of violence in Myanmar, saying at least 48 Muslims were killed when Buddhist mobs attacked Du Chee Yar Tan village in western Myanmar earlier this month.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, “I deplore the loss of life in Du Chee Yar Tan and call on the authorities to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation and ensure that victims and their families receive justice.”
“By responding to these incidents quickly and decisively, the government has an opportunity to show transparency and accountability, which will strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar,” she added.
Tensions have mounted in the region since last month, when monks from a Buddhist extremist movement gave sermons in the area, advocating the removal of all Rohingya Muslims, who comprise 90 percent of the population in the western state of Rakhine.
Myanmar’s government refuses to recognize Rohingya Muslims as citizens and labels them as “illegal” immigrants.
Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship since a new citizenship law was enacted in 1982.
Violence originally targeted Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar, and then spread to other parts of the country, where Muslims who have been granted citizenship are also being attacked.
The Myanmar government has so far refused to release the stateless Rohingyas from their citizenship limbo, despite international pressure to give them a legal status.
Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by Buddhist extremists.
The extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and set fire to their homes in several villages in the state of Rakhine.