United Nations condemns lack of humanitarian access to Rohingya muslims in Myanmar

Trevor Jackson
October 7, 2017

Rights groups say more than half of more than 400 Rohingya villages in the north of Rakhine state have been torched in a campaign by the security forces and Buddhist vigilantes to drive out Muslims.

Haque, who met Foreign secretary S Jaishankar in the Capital on Thursday evening, was also hopeful of India's support to Bangladesh in the wake of the refugee crisis.

Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, while appealing for access to the population in northern Rakhine, said the situation was "unacceptable" and the flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet.

An estimated 2,000 refugees are still arriving in Bangladesh every day, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

"The thousands of potential new refugees are waiting to cross the border from Buthidaung, a township in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state, " he said, citing observers in the area.

"Many of those arriving in Cox's Bazar are malnourished, over 200,000 urgently need food aid, including 145,000 children, " the IOM said.

On a one-day visit organised by Myanmar authorities, United Nations officials, diplomats and aid groups were flown by helicopter to Maungdaw, epicentre of the violence.

Lowcock said a senior United Nations official was expected to visit Myanmar in the next few days.

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"We planned to administer them with 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines", Ukhiya upazila's Health and Family Planning Officer and Vaccination Programme's Coordinator Dr Mizbah Uddin Ahmed told BSS.

The Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and most are stateless, but authorities reject any suggestion of ethnic cleansing.

Asked about India's plan to deport around 40,000 Rohingya refugees, Haque, "I will not comment on India's decision....but I hope, in the end, humanitarian issues will get due consideration".

Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has come under global criticism for her alleged failure to protect the minority Rohingya people.

The agreement was reached on Monday following talks between Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood and Myanmarese government official Kyaw Tint Swe in Dhaka.

Communities in Chittagong share close cultural, religious and linguistic ties with the Rohingya, and images on social media purportedly showing abuses against the Muslim minority in mainly Buddhist Myanmar have aroused strong sympathy in Bangladesh.

"We don't want to take actions that exacerbate their suffering".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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