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Myanmar still faces "critical challenges" in human rights: UN envoy

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The U.N. special investigator on the human rights situation in Myanmar said Wednesday that the country is still facing "critical challenges" in protecting human rights but has the potential for making further improvements.

Tomas Ojea Quintana said while the country is moving forward in a significant number of areas, challenges remain in areas including the need for reconciliation between ethnic groups.

U.N. special rapporteur Quintana was speaking at a press briefing at Yangon International Airport to wrap up his 10-day visit to assess the latest human rights situation in the country.

He faced some protests by hundreds of local Buddhists in Sittwe in Rakhine State and in Meikhtila, who accused him of siding with the Muslim communities in his reports.

He met top government officials including Cabinet ministers and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi while in the capital Naypyitaw.

To meet local authorities and community leaders, Quintana also visited remote ethnic minority states including Rakhine and Chin and some towns affected by religious and communal clashes including Meikhtila in Mandalay Region and Lashio in Shan State, where serious cases of abuses were reported.

==Kyodo

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130821/myanmar-still-faces-critical-challenges-human-rights-u