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Burma claims ‘peace and stability’ in Rohingya state

An armed police officer guards as Muslim refugees stand behind him at a refugee camp in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, western Burma. Pic: AP.

October 3, 2015

Burma’s foreign minister says “peace and stability has been restored” in its western state where Rohingya Muslims have long been persecuted.

Wunna Maung Lwin addressed a U.N. gathering of world leaders Friday and did not mention the Rohingya by name.

The Rohingya are considered Bangladeshis by the government in Burma (Myanmar), and in Rakhine state, where most of them live, their rights are stripped and their movement severely restricted.

They are also barred from voting in this year’s Nov. 8 election, for the first time since independence from Britain, and were disqualified as candidates.

The State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry met with Burma’s foreign minister Friday and stressed the importance of “ensuring full citizenship and freedom of movement for the Rohingya.”

The election is considered a test of Burma’s reforms.

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