Statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Arakan Conflict

New York, 25 October 2012 – Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the fresh outbreak of violence in Rakhine, Myanmar

The most recent outbreak of communal violence in five townships in Northern Rakhine is deeply troubling. The widening mistrust between the communities is being exploited by militant and criminal elements to cause large-scale loss of human lives, material destruction, displaced families as well as fear, humiliation and hatred affecting the people from all walks of life.

While the Secretary-General notes the clear recognition at the highest political levels in Myanmar of the need to contain this communal violence, he calls on the authorities to take urgent and effective action to bring under control all cases of lawlessness. The vigilante attacks, targeted threats and extremist rhetoric must be stopped. If this is not done, the fabric of social order could be irreparably damaged and the reform and opening up process being currently pursued by the government is likely to be jeopardized.

Myanmar is striving to be an example of tolerance and moderation in Asia and the world. Such events must not be allowed to tarnish its efforts. The United Nations is ready to do whatever is necessary to alleviate the situation and bring tranquility and harmony to the region.

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