Violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar

Media Release

15 June 2012

Australia has advised the Myanmar Government of its strong concern at continuing ethnic violence in Rakhine State, which has left more than 20 people dead and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr said the events in Rakhine State demonstrated the range of challenges facing Myanmar, including the need for the effective rule of law.

"All Australians would join with me in seeking an end to this conflict, and a negotiated, peaceful outcome that respects all sides," Senator Carr said.

"In my meeting with Myanmar President Thein Sein last week, I stressed the importance of the peaceful settlement of ethnic-based disputes including those involving the Rohingya people.

"I was encouraged by measures taken to resolve other ethnic tensions, but indicated we would continue to engage the Myanmar Government on human rights matters and the recognition of minorities.

"In this spirit, our Ambassador to Myanmar, Bronte Moules, has presented Australia's concerns directly to the office of the President and to government Ministers.

"Australia has recently sought greater engagement with Myanmar.

We would hope to use this engagement to ensure our representations are heard on issues such as these current clashes in Rakhine State."

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