New wave of Rohingya refugees flock to Bangladesh camps

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday (Oct 18) the United States holds Myanmar's military leadership "accountable" for the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government. He said the US has urged restraint by the military which launched its crackdown in response to attacks on security forces by Rohingya insurgents.

"Since Sunday night, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh through the Anjuman Para border crossing point in Ukhia district in the country's south-east", Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters Tuesday in Geneva.

Since the weekend a fresh wave of up to 20,000 crossed the border into Bangladesh where more than half a million others are already living in squalid and overcrowded camps to escape violence.

Myanmar's media has reported that the "clearance operations" were to uncover "terrorist training" camps in the Mayu mountains in Rakhine state.

In many places, satellite imagery showed multiple areas on fire, burning simultaneously over wide areas for extended periods, HRW said.

The HRW said that 90 per cent of the affected villages were in the Maungdaw town, adding that Rohingya houses were burned while adjacent areas inhabited by the Rakhine Buddhists were left intact.

"The Burmese military destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages while committing killings, rapes, and other crimes against humanity that forced Rohingya to flee for their lives".

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"The children have witnessed atrocities and are in imminent need of aid in the form of shelter, water, vaccination and protection", Mercado said.

In a report released yesterday, AI cited the testimony of over 120 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks, a small part of the mass of people fleeing the bloody army campaign.

"We had been nearly starving, along with our kids, for a long time", refugee Md Islam, 45, a resident of a village in Buthidaung township told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

"As of this morning they are still squatting in the paddy fields of Anjuman Para village in Bangladesh", he said.

Bangladesh and humanitarian agencies have been struggling to accommodate and provide basic services for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled northern Rakhine during a military crackdown following deadly attacks on 30 police posts and an army facility on August 25.

Some 582,000 Rohingya are now known to have fled since violence erupted on August 25 in northern Rakhine state, where they also lack access to food and health care, United Nations officials said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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