Monday, June 11, 2012

U.N. pulls staff from western Myanmar

(CNN) -- The United Nations said Monday that it has begun pulling staff out of a western state of Myanmar where the government has declared a state of emergency following clashes between Muslims and Buddhists.

The inter-ethnic violence in the state of Rakhine has killed at least 17 people in just over a week, according to official media.

President Thein Sein's office issued an order imposing a state of emergency in Rakhine on Sunday, saying "riots and disturbances" had spread, according to the New Light of Myanmar, a government-run newspaper.

The United Nations is temporarily relocating its staff from the area on a voluntary basis for safety reasons, said Ashok Nigam, the organization's resident and humanitarian coordinator in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city. Read More