The plight of Myanmar's refugees

Thousands of refugees from fighting in remote northern Myanmar have flooded into makeshift tent cities erected on the other side of the long border with China, creating a humanitarian crisis. Boatloads of Muslims struggled to reach refugee camps and sought safety on islands and in coastal villages. Myanmar faces sectarian strife that could deal a setback to the government’s

significant political, economic, and social reforms that have been made

since the democratic transition began in 2011.

Muslim refugees gather at Thechaung camp refugee camp upon arrival in Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Boats carrying some of those fleeing arrived outside the state capital, Sittwe. They trudged to the nearby Thechaung camp, a place already home to thousands of Rohingya Muslims who took refuge there after a previous wave of violence in June. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Muslim refugees gather at Thechaung camp refugee camp upon arrival in Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Boats carrying some of those fleeing arrived outside the state capital, Sittwe. They trudged to the nearby Thechaung camp, a place already home to thousands of Rohingya Muslims who took refuge there after a previous wave of violence in June. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
Muslim refugees gather at Thechaung camp refugee camp upon arrival in Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Boats carrying some of those fleeing arrived outside the state capital, Sittwe. They trudged to the nearby Thechaung camp, a place already home to thousands of Rohingya Muslims who took refuge there after a previous wave of violence in June. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
An armed police officer guards as Muslim refugees stand behind him at a refugee camp in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, western Myanmar, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Western Myanmar appeared calm Saturday after almost a week of deadly ethnic strife, a government spokesman said as human rights groups called for action to end the violence that one said it has documented with satellite imagery. Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing there were no immediate reports of fresh clashes between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
An armed police officer guards as Muslim refugees stand behind him at a refugee camp in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, western Myanmar, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Western Myanmar appeared calm Saturday after almost a week of deadly ethnic strife, a government spokesman said as human rights groups called for action to end the violence that one said it has documented with satellite imagery. Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing there were no immediate reports of fresh clashes between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
An armed police officer guards as Muslim refugees stand behind him at a refugee camp in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, western Myanmar, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Western Myanmar appeared calm Saturday after almost a week of deadly ethnic strife, a government spokesman said as human rights groups called for action to end the violence that one said it has documented with satellite imagery. Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing there were no immediate reports of fresh clashes between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

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