UN Warns of More Rohingya Refugee Influx to Bangladesh

Geneva, MINA – Around 2,000 Rohingya refugees a day have been still arriving in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar in a bid to flee violence in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state, Anadolu Agency reported, citing a spokesman on Friday.

“Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross into Cox’s Bazar from North Rakhine’s Buthidaung Township,” the UN migration agency, IOM spokesman Joel Millman said in a news conference in Geneva.

UN refugee agency UNHCR’s spokesman Andrej Mahecic said it has been urgently seeking $83.7 million in additional funds for the next six months to help more than half a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator for the Office of Coordinated Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), called the crisis “one of the most heart-rending”.

Meanwhile, there will be a high-level donor conference in Geneva for Rohingya refugees on October 23.

Since Aug. 25 when the military launched a crackdown against Rohingya militants, 515,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)