Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Bangladesh backs India's stand on Rohingya issue: Foreign minister Haque

Fleeing for their lives Bangladesh backs India's stand on Rohingya issue: Foreign minister Haque
Andrew Cummings | 07 October, 2017, 00:42

The United Nations (UN) has slammed Myanmar's refusal to grant humanitarian access to Rakhine State as "unacceptable", saying the flight of terror-hit Rohingya Muslims out of the region continues.

Haque, who met Foreign secretary S Jaishankar in the Capital on Thursday evening, was also hopeful of India's support to Bangladesh in the wake of the refugee crisis.

"The access we have in northern Rakhine state is unacceptable", said Mark Lowcock, the head of the United Nations humanitarian office to reporters in Geneva.

Bloody riots in 2012 forced over 100,000 Rohingya to flee to refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh, where many still live.

Myanmar has come under worldwide criticism for barring aid groups, journalists and other outsiders from independently traveling to the region to see the situation there.

Cox's Bazar's Civil Surgeon Sheikh Abdus Salam, meanwhile, said though the country earlier almost eradicated several risky diseases, those could return with the Rohingya influx from Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Aid agencies are warning of acute shortages of food for the exhausted, hungry and weak refugees arriving in Cox's Bazar, which could soon lead to widespread malnutrition, IOM said.

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Prominent human rights groups have reported documented cases of systematic attacks by the Myanmar military and Buddhist extremists against Rakhine's Muslim population, including random shootings, rape and arson attacks.

Haque further said that Bangladesh has given Myanmar a written proposal on how to take back the Rohingyas and in this regard, a working group consisting of representatives of both countries has been set up.

In one of the major exodus in recent times, more than half a million Rohingya Muslims have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25, to escape getting victimized of the ongoing ethnic unrest in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Hindus and ethnic Rakhine were also among the dead - allegedly killed by Rohingya militants.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has faced criticism for not doing more to stop the violence, although a military-drafted constitution gives her no power over the security forces.

Bangladesh will build a single, enormous refugee camp to house around 800,000 Rohingya refugees as a Bangladeshi minister warned his country was struggling to deal with the flood across the border.

"We don't want to take actions that exacerbate their suffering".

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