UN criticises 'dire' camps for Rohingya refugees


Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims forced from their homes into refugee camps are living in a "dire" situation, the UN's senior humanitarian official says. Baroness Amos called on the Burmese government to act to end the ethnic violence and said all political leaders in the country should support the efforts.

Lady Amos visited camps for both Muslim and Buddhist families driven from their homes by ethnic violence that has gripped Burma's Rakhine state.

"In Rakhine, the tensions between the communities are still running very high," she said. "There is a loss of trust and I believe the government must play a critical role in reconciliation. We need the political leaders at all levels in Myanmar to support the important humanitarian work being done."

Aid workers are concerned about malnutrition and sanitation. An international aid worker whose group is working in Rakhine but who asked not to be identified, said he knew of at least six children who had died from conditions related to nutrition and sanitation.

Clashes broke out this summer and again in October. The vast majority of the 115,000 people in camps are Rohingya Muslims who have long suffered persecution in the region.