Myanmar Death Toll Tops 100 During Ethnic Strife

Myanmar ethnic strife has left more than 100 people dead in the western state of Rakhine, officials said.

The Burmese government has warned the strife may risk the reputation of the country as it is trying to implement democratic rule after decades of a military junta, The Associated Press reports.

The state spokesman from Rakhine, Win Myaing said clashes between the members of the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities have resulted in 112 being killed. In addition, 72 people have been injured, 10 of which were children.

In the midst of the conflict, nearly 2,000 homes have been burned down, the government in Myanmar announced.

Ethnic violence in the state began in June and left a minimum of 90 people dead and 3,000 destroyed. Currently, about 75,000 people are living in refugee camps since the ordeal.

Governments from around the world have been called upon to help end the mob violence in Myanmar.

The state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported in a statement that the image of the nation may become damaged during the ethnic strife:

“As the international community is closely watching Myanmar’s democratic transition, such unrest could tarnish the image of the country.”

Myanmar elected Thein Sein as president last year and since he has implemented political and economic liberalization for the first time in over half a century of military rule. The statement warned that legal action would be taken for any uncooperative mob members:

“The army, police, and authorities in cooperation with local people will try to restore peace and stability and will take legal action against any individual or organization that is trying to instigate the unrest.”

Myanmar’s vast ethnic strife has proven to be a major challenge for Thein Sein’s government as well as opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who some say has not spoken out about repression of the Rohingya.