Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya continues

08 March, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Myanmar's ethnic cleansing

Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine into Bangladesh since insurgent attacks sparked a security crackdown in August, joining 200,000 refugees from a previous exodus.

Separately, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said it was concerned about people living just inside Myanmar at its border with Bangladesh.

His statement also said it was "inconceivable" that any Rohingya would be able to return to Myanmar in the near future, despite its pledges to start taking back some refugees.

The UN assistant secretary general for human rights, Andrew Gilmour, said on Tuesday that ethnic cleansing was continuing in Myanmar.

"These people have fled violence at home and must be able to seek asylum in Bangladesh if they feel unsafe where they are", she said.

"Bangladesh has shown a level of generosity that is sadly lacking in many parts of the world, including in this region", he said, calling upon Dhaka to allow Rohingya children access to education and some access to livelihood opportunities.

Rohingya are still streaming across the border, more than six months after a Myanmar army crackdown sparked a massive refugee crisis.

Gilmour also praised the humanitarian response of Bangladesh and other worldwide organizations to the Rohingya refugee crisis, but warned that the rainy season could leave "a devastating effect" on the refugee camps.

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Some 700 000 people from Myanmar's Rohingya community have fled over the border to Bangladesh since August, following an army crackdown that the United Nations has said amounts to an ongoing campaign of "ethnic cleansing".

The UN envoy said it was "inconceivable" for any Rohingya to return to Rakhine state in the near future in a "safe, dignified and sustainable" way.

Myanmar's military has largely closed off the north of Rakhine state to journalists, diplomats and most aid organisations apart from brief chaperoned trips.

After Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 police posts and an army base on August 25, Myanmar soldiers and police swept through villages in what the government says was a legitimate operation to root out "terrorists".

James Gomez, Amnesty International's director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said the UN's new findings "sadly echo our own".

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has expressed its concern over the situation.

A recent report in The Irrawaddy claimed that at least 90 percent of the state's Rohingya population have fled.

Myanmar's civilian government, led by former democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, lacks control over the military but has been castigated by rights groups for failing to speak out in defence of the Rohingya.

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