YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – A court in Myanmar has sentenced two United Nations staff members to prison terms for their alleged involvement in a spate of bloody communal violence in the west of the country in June, the world body said Monday. The punishments were handed down Friday in the Rakhine state town of Maungdaw, said Aye Win, a U.N. spokesman based in Myanmar. One of those sentenced was an employee of the U.N. refugee agency and the other the U.N. World Food Program.
The Myanmar independent Weekly Eleven newspaper reported that the staffers – all believed to be from the local Muslim community – were charged with various crimes, including promoting hatred between Buddhists and Muslims and participation in arson attacks. The paper cited anonymous court sources in its report, and said the sentences ranged from two to six years.