Over 35,000 Rohingyas cross Bangladesh border in 24 hours: UN


COX’S BAZAR, Sept 5, 2017 (BSS) – District administration authorities today sought a government approval to allocate land to set up a new makeshift camp Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar as refugee surge continued with UN officials reporting fresh influx of 35,000 of them in 24 hours.

“We have sought the approval as the existing camps exhausted their capacity to accommodate any more refugees,” Cox’s Bazar’s additional district magistrate Khaled Mahmud told newsmen as diplomatic endeveours were underway to mount pressure on Myanmar to prevent the influx.

UN officials said 35,000 more Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh since Monday to evade persecution while thousands more amassed on the mountainous borders while paramilitary Bangladeshi border guards were trying to prevent them.

“Our estimates suggest nearly 125,000 Rohingya refugees entered Bangladesh (since August 25) . . . 35000 entered in the past 24 hours, “UNHCR spokesman Vivian Tun told newsmen in Cox’s Bazar.

The fresh influx began since the latest spate of violence erupted on Myanmar’s western Rakhine state on August 25 when army was called out to clampdown on militant Rohingyas after they attacked several police outposts there.

Bangladesh earlier proposed a joint security campaign to flush out the militant Rohingyas in Rakhine but reminded Myanmar of its obligation to protect its “innocent civilians” and create environment for return of the refugees.

But the refugee surge raised fears of a fresh humanitarian disaster as already crowded registered and unregistered Rohingya camps which housed 400,000 Rohingya refugees before the latest crisis, exhausted their accommodation capacity.

Witnesses said hundreds of Rohigyas with their minor children were spending nights under open sky making their rooms in forests and a road leading to Myanmar borders.

“The people in Cox’s Bazar are generally known for their hostile attitude towards Rohingyas, but their miseries now prompted them extend their helping hands to them with food,” a local resident told BSS.

Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October in Buddhist majority Rakhine, also the home of some 1.5 million Muslim Rohingyas.