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90,000 Rohingya flee Myanmar – Asia’s refugee crisis in the making

90,000 Rohingya flee Myanmar – Asia’s refugee crisis in the making

Around 90000 Rohingya Muslim refugees arrive in Bangladesh to escape violence

A minimum of 90,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar during last ten days.

The reports have confirmed that more than 400 people have died in the recent unrest, with campaigners accusing the Burmese military accused of committing crimes against humanity.

According to the UN’s refugee agency an estimated 87,000 members of Muslim community have crossed the border into Bangladesh since violence flared on 25 August, leaving refugee camps near full capacity.

Vivian Tan, regional spokesperson for UNHCR, told media that we are seeing many pregnant women, new-born babies and the elderly make their way to relief camps on the Bangladeshi side of the border.

“Sadly we’re also hearing from many of them that they haven’t eaten in days”, she added.

The bloodshed in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state was triggered by an attack on August 25 on dozens of police posts and an army base by Rohingya insurgents. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people.

Myanmar officials blamed Rohingya militants for the burning of homes and civilian deaths but rights monitors and Rohingya fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh say the Myanmar army is trying to force Rohingya out with a campaign of arson and killings.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has come under increasing diplomatic pressure from countries with large Muslim populations such as Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia to protect Rohingya civilians.

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has accused Burma’s forces of genocide.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has called on Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s de facto leader, to condemn the “tragic and shameful” treatment of the Burma’s Muslim Rohingya people.

 Malala Yousafzai told her fellow laureate that the “world is waiting” for her to act over the unrest.

About Saqlain Naqvi

Saqlain Naqvi is an Islamabad-based journalist who has also worked in PR sector previously.
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