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EU Initiates Action To End Killings Of Muslims In Myanmar

The European Union has been taking diplomatic initiatives to stop the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday.

It quoted EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton's spokesperson Michael Mann as saying that they were closely monitoring acts of violence against the Muslim minority in Myanmar.

"EU diplomats got in touch with officials in Myanmar following a directive of Catherine Ashton. Experts from the ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Office) were dispatched to Myanmar to determine the urgent needs of the Muslims," Mann said.

The EU had lifted some of its sanctions on Myanmar earlier this year after several political prisoners were released from prison and the Opposition party of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to join the electoral process. The Myanmarese government wants to make use of the EU's tariff-free import procedures for poorer countries.

The EU has attached more importance to the issue of tariff-free imports after Myanmar assured the International Labor Organization (ILO) that it would end forced labor in the country by 2015. Most of the people subject to forced labor in Myanmar are Muslims.

Amnesty International said last week that Muslim Rohingyas are increasingly being targeted in violent attacks that have included killings, rape and physical abuse. It also accused both security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists of carrying out new attacks against Rohingyas, who are seen as foreigners by the ethnic majority and are denied citizenship by the government because it considers them illegal settlers from neighboring Bangladesh.

by RTT Staff Writer

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