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US urges Myanmar to ease tensions

A Myanmar policeman patrols past a Muslim-owned shop in the village of Theechaung on the outskirts of Sittwe in the western state of Rakhine on April 1, 2014United Nations (United States) (AFP) – The US ambassador to the UN urged Myanmar on Thursday to intervene to stop communal violence there and protect humanitarian workers in the volatile western state of Rakhine. Myanmar, formerly called Burma, has been shaken by religious unrest in recent years with at least 250 people killed in Buddhist-Muslim clashes since 2012. Violence forced humanitarian workers to flee Rakhine earlier this month, leaving thousands facing looming food and water shortages. “We continue to support Burma’s reforms, but are greatly concerned that without effective government intervention violence in Rakhine could worsen, lives will be lost, and the critically needed humanitarian presence will not be sustainable,” Samantha Power said.

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