United Nations slams Myanmar's denial of access to Rakhine

Randolph Lopez
October 7, 2017

A small United Nations team visited the crisis-wracked region in majority Buddhist Myanmar in recent days and described witnessing "unimaginable" suffering.

Over-burdened with over half a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar seeking shelter in Bangladesh, the country's Foreign Secretary, Shahidul Haque on Friday said that the immigration of the minority Muslims from the Buddhist-dominated country can not end the on-going crisis.

Bangladesh's Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is said to have conveyed this to his counterpart S Jaishankar while he was in New Delhi to attend the World Economic Forum meeting.

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".

The Rohingya Muslims stated that the Rakhine Buddhists are trying to drive them out, however, the government disputed these claims stating that militants are destroying their own home.

He said the United Nations had "substantial capacity" in Myanmar which it could quickly deploy to Rakhine upon getting clearance.

The stress on Bangladesh has been increasing as the inflow of refugees continues even after nearly more than 40 days after the first instance of violence on 25 August.

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Aid agencies have warned of a malnutrition crisis with about 281,000 people in Bangladesh in urgent need of food, including 145,000 children under five and more than 50,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The home minister said the government would nevertheless cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant global agencies in line with their humanitarian policies to give aid to the ethnic group.

Health experts have also voiced alarm that conditions in the grossly deficient camps are ripe for disease outbreaks such as cholera.

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.

Three groups of diplomats were taken to three different areas on Monday, said Ye Htut, district administrator of Maungdaw in Rakhine.

The lawmakers also echoed comments by the U.N. Human Rights commissioner, saying that the violence against Rohingyas which has led to their mass exodus constitutes ethnic cleansing.

A previous controlled tour for diplomats scheduled for last week was abruptly canceled.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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