US urges Myanmar to stem violence in Rakhine state


WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is calling for Myanmar to do more to stem violence in western Rakhine state where dozens of people have been killed in clashes with government troops.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said Tuesday that a U.S. delegation holding previously scheduled talks in Myanmar urged the government to “improve transparency.”

The U.S. also repeated its call for an independent investigation and humanitarian access.

Tensions have been high in Rakhine since fighting in 2012 between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. Last month, nine police were killed in attacks on guard posts blamed on Muslim insurgents, prompting a government crackdown. Human rights groups have accused government forces of burning down Rohingya villages.

The violence and persecution of Rohingya threatens to overshadow Myanmar’s historic transition to civilian rule.

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