Myanmar takes foreign diplomats into conflict-torn Rakhine

Source: Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar authorities took foreign diplomats and United Nations representatives on a tour Monday of conflict-torn northern Rakhine state, where a security crackdown has led to an exodus of more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims.

Three groups of diplomats were taken to three different areas, said Ye Htut, district administrator of Maungdaw in Rakhine. He did not provide details on the diplomats’ nationalities.

Myanmar has come under international criticism for barring aid groups, journalists and other outsiders from independently traveling to the region to see the situation there. A previous guided visit for diplomats scheduled for last week was abruptly canceled.

More than half a million Rohingya have fled from the region to Bangladesh in just over a month, the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades. The current exodus is in addition to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled prior violence in Myanmar, where the Muslim ethnic group has faced decades of persecution and discrimination in the Buddhist-majority nation.

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