June 12, 2012- On Monday, the Secretary of State of the U.S., Hillary Clinton urged the immediate end to violence in Myanmar. Religious violence has taken hold in the small nation as security forces attempt to restore some order. Since last Friday, at least seven people were killed in the country in revenge attacks between the minority Muslims and the majority Buddhists. Troops could be seen outside mosques and monasteries and near homes that had been charred.
Clinton said the U.S. was deeply concerned about the ongoing sectarian and ethnic violence taking place the Burma’s western state of Rakhine. Myanmar was once called Burma. The statement released by Clinton said the U.S. urged the country to work together toward a prosperous, peaceful and democratic society that respects the diverse peoples who live in the country.
The nation of Myanmar has been a top priority for the Barack Obama administration. Clinton made a historic visit to the country back in December to encourage new reforms. Those reforms have included the release of one of the country’s most important political figures for the opposition, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The president of Myanmar, Thein Sein, declared the state of Rakhine under government emergency rule in what many see as an important test for the former military general who wants even more reforms for his country.