UNHCR chief urges Myanmar to grant Rohingya citizenship

Source: Reuters

By Donna Airoldi | BANGKOK

The head of the U.N. refugee agency urged Myanmar on Friday to grant citizenship to the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority in the Asian country where sectarian violence has displaced tens of thousands since 2012.

On his first official visit to Southeast Asia, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi this week met communities in the towns of Sittwe and Maungdaw in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, home to a large population of Rohingya Muslims.

He also met Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader.

Rakhine State in west Myanmar has seen the most serious religious violence in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar since the military began to end its decades of strict rule, with hundreds of Rohingya Muslims killed and more than 140,000 people displaced there in communal unrest in 2012.

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