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Myanmar still has “very challenging” human rights issues: UN envoy

United Nations (UN) human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana said Myanmar still has to deal with "very challenging" human rights issues.

MYANMAR: United Nations (UN) human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana said Myanmar still has to deal with "very challenging" human rights issues.

Mr Quitana, the UN special rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar, said the government must do more to address issues such as national reconciliation, constitutional amendment and the ethnic minority situation.

He is in Myanmar for his final visit to the country (from February 14 to 19) as he completes his six-year mandate as UN special rapporteur.

One of his first stops is a meeting with leaders of the pro-democracy activist group, The 88 Generation.

Mr Quintana has seen some evolution in some of the issues in Myanmar, but he said more needs to be done on the issue of religious conflicts in Rakhine state.

The Myanmar government has denied recent reports of alleged violence in the Maungdaw Township in Rakhine, and has convened an independent investigation team to look into the matter.

"I have visited Rakhine state four times during this mandate, so I know very well the situation there. I have said that there's discrimination against the Muslim community in that area.

“Myanmar has very challenging issues with respect to human rights. Very importantly, the ceasefire agreements in border areas have to be reflected.

“The country has suffered throughout decades of armed conflicts in ethnic remote areas. This has brought tremendous damages to the ethnic minority communities, and this has to stop,” said Mr Quintana.

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