Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Myanmar violence precludes return of Rohingya — UN official

UNHCR appeals for protection of Rohingya trapped on Bangladesh border UN: 'Ethnic Cleansing' of Rohingya Continues in Myanmar
Johnnie Parks | 07 March, 2018, 16:05

While the majority of those refugees fled Myanmar a year ago, Rohingya Muslims continue to stream across the border to Bangladesh by the hundreds every week.

"Ultimately, the world can not allow the authors of this brutal case of ethnic cleansing - which many believe may constitute genocide - to be rewarded", Andrew Gilmour said at the end of a four-day visit to Bangladesh where refugees, who have been fleeing Myanmar since last August, are located.

Refugee camps have shot up in Bangladesh's border area of Cox's Bazar, including Kutupalong which is now the largest refugee camp in the world.

According to the witness accounts, soldiers and Buddhist mobs have been murdering and raping the Rohingya, and torching their villages.

The UN has formerly floated the idea that the atrocities constitute ethnic cleansing.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the same refugees face a continuing threat from wild elephants who range the region.

Myanmar's program against the minority Rohingya community, which has led to the migration of over 700,000 people from the minority Muslim community, continues as the country's government perseveres with its "campaign of terror and forced starvation" in the Rakhine state, a United Nations human rights envoy said on Tuesday.

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The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine state of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

The UN official said it was "inconceivable" that any Rohingya would be able to return to Myanmar in the near future, despite an agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Myanmar and Bangladesh originally agreed to begin repatriations in January, but they were delayed by concerns among aid workers and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Myanmar.

It has justified the crackdown as an effort to root out Rohingya militants who attacked border police posts in August, killing about a dozen people.

Abductions of Rohingya girls and women by Burmese security forces was a "recurring theme" said the OHCHR, corroborating accounts of sexual violence and killings provided to other United Nations agencies and non-profit organisations including Human Rights Watch.

Despite Myanmar saying it was ready to accept back refugees under an pact signed with Bangladesh in November, he added, "Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are, of course, impossible under current conditions".

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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