Rohingya inflow swells further

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine state wait for aid at Kutupalong refugee camp in Teknaf on Tuesday. — AFP photo

The inflow of persecuted Rohingyas into Bangladesh, who fled the ongoing violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar, increased significantly as 50,000 of them crossed the border in the last 48 hours, taking the total to 1,23,000, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR estimation.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday, terming the Rohingya population in Bangladesh as a big burden, urged the international community to put pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals.
The local administration is planning a specific area in Cox’s Bazar for the Rohingyas so that they cannot mingle with Bangladeshis.
The ongoing violence erupted on August 25, when Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army reportedly attacked at least two dozen different police posts and checkpoints and one military base across three townships in the northern Myanmar state and the Burma Army launched ‘clearance operations,’ that left at least 400 people dead.
The insurgent group later said that they launched the attacks to pre-empt possible attacks by army and security forces on the Rohingyas.
UN refugee agency UNHCR estimated on Tuesday that around 1,23,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh since August 25.
UNHCR estimates shows that around 50,000 Rohingays fled to Bangladesh in last 48 hours, as they estimated that at least 73,000 Rohingyas entered to the Bangladesh till Sunday.
Local people, however, said that actual number of new Rohingya entrants would be much more that the UN estimates.
The locals said that thousands of Rohingyas were also staying along the Bangladesh border in bid to enter the country.
They said that the new entrants as well as those on the border fled their country passing days in inhuman condition in want of food, shelter, medicine and drinking water.
Sheikh Hasina urged the international community to put pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals from Bangladesh.
‘Hosting a huge number of Myanmar nationals is a big burden for Bangladesh and we have given shelter to them only on humanitarian grounds,’ she said when newly appointed Indonesian ambassador to Bangladesh Rina Prihtyasmiarsi Soemarno paid a courtesy call on the PM at her office Tuesday morning.
Cox’s Bazar additional district magistrate Khaled Mahmud, also the focal person on Rohingya issue, told New Age that the district administration was planning to allocate 50 acres of land at
Balukhali of Ukhia to keep the all Rohingyas entering Bangladesh.
‘We want to keep all of them in one specific place to prevent them from intermingling with the Bangladeshi citizens,’ he added.
A large number of Rohingyas have been building makeshift houses at Balukhali on a protected forest to live there, said locals, adding that the number of Rohingyas there was growing every day.
Law minister Anisul Huq, while talking to journalists at his secretariat office on the day, said that the United Nations should take immediate steps to stop the repression of Rohingya people in Rakhine.
Describing the atrocities unleashed on the Rohingyas ‘abominable’, he also urged the international community to intervene immediately.
UNHCR spokesperson Duniya Aslam Khan at a press briefing in Geneva on the day said an estimated 1,23,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since violence broke out in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state last month.
‘UNHCR is gravely concerned about the continuing conflict in Myanmar and by reports that civilians have died trying to seek safety.
‘Those who have made it to Bangladesh are in poor condition. Most have walked for days from their villages – hiding in jungles, crossing mountains and rivers with what they could salvage from their homes. They are hungry, weak and sick.
‘The new arrivals are scattered in different locations in south-eastern Bangladesh. More than 30,000 Rohingyas are estimated to have sought shelter in the existing refugee camps of Kutupalong and Nayapara. Many others are living in makeshift sites and local villages.
‘An unknown number could still remain trapped at the border.
‘With hundreds of new refugees streaming in every day, Kutupalong and Nayapara camps are at breaking point. The new arrivals are hosted by refugee families and in refugee schools, community centres, madrassahs and covered structures. We are running out of available space.
‘There is an urgent need for additional emergency shelters and land as more refugees arrive. Coordination is crucial with the authorities to ensure that life-saving assistance gets to those who need it the most,’ she said.
Two Rohingya children sustained injuries in an apparent landmine blast inside Myanmar near Tumbroo border point of Bangladesh as they tried to flee, said Bangladesh Border Guard officials
BGB 34 battalion commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Manzurul Hassan Khan said, ‘It is not known exactly what caused the blast’.
The blast took place after a Rohingya woman had a leg blown off in a similar blast in the same area on Monday and bullet-injured bodies of Rohingya couple Jaker Ullah and Ayesha Begum were found near the area on Saturday.
Locals said one after another blast on the border raised alarm among them.
While bodies of two more Rohingya women and children, who were fleeing violence in Myanmar, were found floating in the River Naf at Teknaf. With these two, local people and different Bangladesh forces so far recovered 56 bodies of Rohingyas in the past week from the river.
Leaders of registered and unregistered Rohingya camps in Bangladesh said that Rohingyas were taking the sea route boarding wooden boats in their desperate move to reach Bangladesh to save life.
At least 30,000 Rohingyas entered Sabrong union of Teknaf on Tuesday, said Nur Hossain, chairman of the union parishad, while locals said another 5,000 Rohingyas entered Samlapur of the upazila.
BGB battalion 2 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Ariful Islam said that they so far thwarted the attempts of around 30,000 Rohingyas to enter Bangladesh since the violence erupted. Of them around 2,700 were barred from entering on Tuesday.
Reuters reported from Bangkok that the systematic persecution of minority Muslims is on the rise across Myanmar and not confined to the northwestern state of Rakhine, a Myanmar rights group said on Tuesday.
The independent Burma Human Rights Network said that persecution was backed by the government, elements among the country’s Buddhist monks, and ultra-nationalist civilian groups.
‘The transition to democracy has allowed popular prejudices to influence how the new government rules, and has amplified a dangerous narrative that casts Muslims as an alien presence in Buddhist-majority Burma,’ the group said in a report.
Government officials in Dhaka said that Rohingyas continued entering Bangladesh fleeing persecution of the ethnic minority in Myanmar since 1978.
The problem turned acute after the influx of Rohingyas in 1991-92 and 2012.
Around 87,000 Rohingya entered Bangladesh in 10 months since October 2016.
Currently, only 33,000 Rohingyas are registered at the two official refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The Planning Commission in its project proposal for a census said that 3-5 lakh unregistered Rohingya were living in Bangladesh.

Source: New Age

One Response to Rohingya inflow swells further

  1. ARSA will have to face will face 3 counter forces from Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. It seems none of them are seriously considering eyhnic clinsing by Myanmar Which is a crime against humanity and genocide. The International Community and UN is raising voice in support for Rohingya refugees It is better for all to force Myanmar to resolve the issue as per recommendation of ANAN Commission. As long as it does not happen there will be no peace and ARSA will remain as a menacing and disturbing factor for Myanmar and at the same time Myanmar will be responsible for refugee Problem being faced by many countries. Myanman should therefore be forced to take back their refugees and implement Anan commission report.

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