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Rohingya refugees share what they left behind

08 October, 2017, 01:01 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Divided Asean urged to act on Rohingya crisis

Most countries in the world have watched with horror as more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have trudged across the border into Bangladesh and are now urging Myanmar to take necessary steps to restore a peaceful and secure climate within the troubled region so that the refugees can return to Myanmar with dignity.

Rohingya militants whose attacks triggered an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state unleashing a huge wave of refugees said on Saturday their one-month unilateral ceasefire would end in two days, but added they were open to a peace deal if the government offered it.

According to Unicef, 5,011 cases of diarrhea were reported last week among these people, which should serve as an alert.

Addressing the media here, foreign secretary of Bangladesh Shahidul Haque said the worldwide community expects Myanmar to take back the displaced Rohingyas, even as India indicated that it remains determined to stop the influx of the community into its territory.

The global community has stood by the Rohingyas once Bangladesh has sided with them, she told a reception accorded to her by ruling Awami League at the airport on her return from United States after attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Such a possible course of action is obviously being suggested to point out that Suu Kyi as well as the Myanmar armed forces are culpable and must face the punishment such a crime against humanity deserves. In its press release, the ARSA, which appeared a few months ago, claims to have helped provide "a safe passage" for refugees fleeing to Bangladesh. The U.N. has described the violence in Myanmar as "ethnic cleansing".

"The access we have in northern Rakhine State is unacceptable", he added.

Answering a question, Haque said his government has succeeded in restricting the refugees in a certain geographical location and prevented them from fanning across the country. 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 in Myanmar. Myanmar leader has faced scathing criticism for not doing more to stop the violence, although she has no power over the security forces under a military-drafted constitution.

She said that the majority of the 1.1 million Muslims living in Rakhine state had not fled and that more than 50 percent of their villages were still intact.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority that's being driven out by Burma's military, along with Buddhist villagers.

During the first few days of the latest influx, Bangladesh kept its border closed, but later chose to open it up to Rohingyas.

Referring to the plight of Rohingyas, Representative Ed Royce, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "Because as long as that presence is there, it's a check to these kinds of atrocities".

Dhaka also summoned several times the Myanmar ambassador to Bangladesh to protest the "provocation", warning that these "provocative acts" might lead to "unwarranted consequences".

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