Myanmar political leaders urged to make stand on Rakhine unrest
YANGON (AFP) - President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi must show "moral leadership" if Myanmar is to stem communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Saturday.
Unrest has left at least 180 people dead since June and displaced 110,000, mostly Rohingya Muslims, in western Rakhine State, prompting international calls for the president and Nobel laureate Suu Kyi to defend the minority group.
"The flare-up in Rakhine State represents a deeply disturbing backward step," from Myanmar's reforms after decades of junta rule, the Brussels-based rights group said in a report on the crisis due to be released on Monday.
"This is a time when political leaders must rise to the challenge of shaping public opinion rather than just following it. A failure to do so will be to the detriment of the country," it added.