In a bid to save their lives, nearly 90,000 Rohingya Muslims, including women, children and elderly have fled Myanmar and reached Bangladesh during last ten days.
According to UN report published on Monday, a total of 87,000 mostly Rohingya Muslims have arrived in Bangladesh. Dozens of them, reportedly suffering gunshot wounds, have arrived in a hospital near southeastern border of the country. Associated Press reported that the hospital was overcrowded by the injured refugees.
Myanmar’s military intensified attacks on Rohingya Muslims on August 25 following attacks by an armed group, claiming to be defending their rights, on dozens of police and border outposts in the northern state of Rakhine. Myanmar military has been allegedly committing atrocities and crimes against them. UN considers Rohingya Muslims as the “most persecuted minority group in the world.”
The community had already been under siege in Rakhine since October last year. The government used a militant attack on border guards as the pretext to enforce the lockdown.
The refugees who have succeeded reaching Bangladesh, have claimed that the military forces attacked, burned villages and shot civilians, forcing many thousands of people to take perilous boat journeys across the Naf river which separates Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The refugees also claim of witnessing “massacres” of civilians, whose villages were burnt by the army. At least 40 were drowned during their boat journey to Bangladesh. According to official figures, 400 people have been killed over past week in the troubled state.
Myanmar government has blocked all UN aid agencies from delivering food, water and medicines to the affected people. The London based Guardian reports that world body has suspended distribution of vital supplies in Rakhine since August 25.
Meanwhile Mohammad Shidur Rahman writes in Dhaka Tribune, on Monday, that Bangladesh, being country of a large population, a higher unemployment rate, small land area, and emerging economy, is struggling to accommodate the continuous Rohingya refugee influx. Bangladesh authorities estimate that around half a million unregistered and 30,000 registered refugees are staying in the country.
He further argues that this was an “additional pressure” on Bangladesh economy, population and land. Hence “attempting to third country resettlement” could be an effective solution for the country to overcome the Rohingya crisis.