U.N. says two employees released from detention in Myanmar

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 28, 2012 1:25 PM
U.N. says two employees released from detention in Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Tuesday that two people working for the world body who were sentenced by a Myanmar court in connection with sectarian violence there earlier this year had been released, but a third remained in detention.

"We welcome the release and we hope that the one person remaining in detention will be released," spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. He gave no further details.

The United Nations said on Monday that a court in Maungdaw had sentenced three people -- one from the U.N. refugee agency, one from the World Food Program and a third person who works for a partner organization of the refugee agency.

The three had apparently been convicted in connection with the violence in June in the Rakhine state in the country formerly known as Burma, the United Nations said.

Police in Myanmar arrested 30 people last month in relation to the vigilante killing of 10 Muslims that helped spark days of sectarian violence in Rakhine state in which at least 80 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced.

The riots and killings underline the big challenges facing Myanmar's first civilian government since the end of five decades of authoritarian military rule.

The 16-month-old administration says it wants to forge peace and unity among the many ethnic groups and religions in Myanmar. Northwestern Rakhine state in particular is fraught with long-standing communal tension.

The riots and killings underlined the big challenges facing Myanmar's first civilian government since the end of five decades of authoritarian military rule.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)