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UN humanitarian chief says conditions dire for some refugees from Myanmar ethnic strife

The head of humanitarian affairs for the United Nations has described conditions as dire in some camps housing refugees from communal violence in western Myanmar.

Valerie Amos also Friday called on the government to allow the U.N. to travel to northern areas of the country controlled by ethnic Kachin insurgents, who are fighting against the army, in order to provide relief assistance to civilians affected by the strife

Amos spoke at a news conference to underline her concerns even as Myanmar makes strides to become a democratic society under the reformist government of President Thein Sein. She called on the government to promote reconciliation in Rakhine State, where antagonism between the Buddhist Rakine and Muslim Rohingya communities burst into deadly ethnic violence this year.