UN: 87,000 Refugees Arrive in Bangladesh from Myanmar


The United Nations said Monday a total of 87,000 mostly Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in neighboring Myanmar late August.

The newest estimate, based on calculations by UN workers in the Bangladeshi border district of Cox’s Bazar, takes to nearly 150,000 the total number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Dozens of Rohingya refugees, suffering gunshot wounds, arrived in a hospital near Bangladesh’s southeastern border to get treated, AP reported, saying that the hospital was overcrowded with injured refugees.

The bloody military crackdown, along with a blockade on Rakhine State, has left thousands of people stranded without essential life-saving supplies in the conflict area, The Guardian reported on Monday.

Government forces in Myanmar beheaded and burned alive Rohingya Muslim civilians, including children, witnesses disclosed, as calls grow to stop the “genocide” against the minority Muslims living in the Buddhist-majority country.

Myanmar’s military intensified attacks on Rohingya Muslims on August 25, after dozens of police and border outposts in the northern state of Rakhine came under attack by an armed group, which is said to be defending the rights of the Rohingya.

The Muslim community had already been under a military siege in Rakhine since October 2016. The government used a militant attack on border guards back then as the pretext to enforce the lockdown. The Rohingya had already been subject to communal violence by extremist Buddhists for years.

Myanmar’s military is accused of committing atrocities and crimes against Rohingya people, who are considered by the UN as the “most persecuted minority group in the world.”

The Myanmar government has announced that over 2,600 houses have been burned down over the past week in the Rohingya-majority areas of the country’s Northwest, which have been the scene of one of the deadliest outbreaks of violence against the persecuted Muslim community in decades.

“A total of 2,625 houses from Kotankauk, Myinlut and Kyikanpyin villages and two wards in Maungtaw were burned down,” the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Saturday.

The Rohingya Muslims fleeing the violence to Bangladesh, however, insist that a campaign of arson and killings by the Myanmarese army aimed at forcing them out of the country is responsible for the carnage and destruction in the area.

Almost 400 people have been killed over the past week in Rohingya-majority Rakhine State, according to official figures.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and considered as illegal immigrants, despite their roots that date back centuries. Bangladesh is also growing increasingly hostile to Rohingya Muslims, more than 400,000 of whom live in the impoverished South Asian country after fleeing Myanmar since the early 1990s.