UN envoy raises alarm over 'persecution' of Rohingyas in west Myanmar

 
Internally displaced Muslims boys draw water from a public well at a camp on the outskirts of Sittwe in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine on March 30, 2014. Acute shortages of water and medical treatment in western Myanmar following attacks on humanitarian groups are the latest hardships imposed on Rohingya Muslims that "could amount to crimes against humanity", a UN expert said on Monday, April 7, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (AFP) - Acute shortages of water and medical treatment in western Myanmar following attacks on humanitarian groups are the latest hardships imposed on Rohingya Muslims that "could amount to crimes against humanity", a United Nations expert said on Monday.

The United Nations' human rights envoy to the country, Mr Tomas Ojea Quintana, said a wave of attacks against aid organisations had choked off health, water and food supplies, increasing the vulnerability of the Rohingyas.

"Recent developments in Rakhine State are the latest in a long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community which could amount to crimes against humanity," he said in a statement.

More than 170 aid workers were pulled out of the state as a result of last month's unrest - the first time they have been forced to leave en masse - and there are fears that the entire relief infrastructure has been severely damaged.

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