Friday, March 15, 2013

US ambassador leads delegation to Rakhine State

Friday, 15 March 2013 16:18 Rosie Gogan-Keogh

An international delegation headed by US Ambassador Derek Mitchell visited the Rakhine State on March 11-12 to meet with representatives from communities affected by ongoing conflicts in the region.

US Ambassador Derek Mitchell discussed ways to achieve lasting security and stability in Rakhine State during his trip on March 11-12, 2013. [Photo: U.S. Embassy Rangoon via Facebook]

The ambassador "discussed ways to achieve lasting security and stability in Rakhine State, means to rebuild trust between communities, access for organizations providing humanitarian assistance, and greater freedom of movement to allow communities to take back control of their lives and livelihoods," said a statement released following the trip on March 15.

Mitchell said that conflict would only hinder development, and noted that humanitarian aid would benefit communities according to need without regard to race, religion or other factors.

The delegation found that Muslim camps were far less developed, and often in need of humanitarian assistance. They joined in the pleas of other international organizations for urgent assistance before the coming rainy season.

Following a visit to Myanmar last month, Tomás Ojea Quintana, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar said that nearly 120,000 people are now living in camps in Rakhine State with a lack of adequate healthcare.

“The situation in this area is extreme,” Quintana warned on Monday.

The delegation also included USAID Mission Director Chris Milligan and officials from the British and Australian Embassies.
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