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New UN envoy calls Myanmar displaced camps deplorable, fears backsliding on human rights

The U.N.'s new human rights envoy for Myanmar has described conditions as deplorable in camps for persons displaced by sectarian strife, and warned that the country's human rights situation may be backsliding despite progress under three years of elected government.

Yanghee Lee spoke Saturday at the end of a 10-day fact-finding mission to Myanmar, her first in the capacity of U.N. rapporteur. She visited western Rakhine state, where since 2012, violence bertween Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims left at least 280 people dead and 140,000 homeless, mostly Muslims confined in squalid camps.

Lee says she believes the camps lack basic services, and has heard disturbing reports of people dying in them due to the lack of access to emergency medical assistance and due to preventable, chronic or pregnancy-related conditions.