Publication date: 14 September, 2017
Nearly 4 lakh Rohingyas enter so far, thousands more waiting
Media: The Independent
Original URL: Nearly 4 lakh Rohingyas enter so far, thousands more waiting
Rohingyas are continuing to cross the border, fleeing from the violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. The number of the people seeking asylum in Bangladesh is constantly increasing, as the Myanmar government forces are burning down Rohingya-majority villages every day.
Besides, thousands are waiting at the border on the Myanmar side to enter Bangladesh, said some of those who have already taken shelter in Bangladesh.
George-Okoth-Obbo, assistant high commissioner of the UNHCR, told The Independent after visiting the Kutupalong camp: “Although the number is now close to four lakh, it is constantly increasing. At first, we assumed it would be 100,000. Now, it’s four times high. So, we need more funds and are consulting with our partners.”
The UNHCR said the number of refugees was 379,000 yesterday.
The number keeps increasing everyday. The final figure of the exodus could be higher, said local union parishad chairmen, who are keeping track of the number of Rohingyas in their respective areas in Ukhiya and Teknaf.
After a coordinated attack on dozens of Border Guard Police (BGB) outposts and an army base by Rohingya “insurgents”, the Myanmar government forces started a cleansing operation, saying it was a crackdown on “extremists”.
The violence erupted in three Rohingya-majority areas, such as Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships. This is a much wider area compared to the happenings in October 2016.
All 16 Muslims villages of Rathedaung are completely burnt down. There will hardly be any Rohingya now in these areas, said sources. About 300 villages of Maungdaw and 10 per cent of the villages in the Buthidaung area have been affected.
Visiting different border points yesterday at Teknaf and Ukhiya, hundreds of Rohingyas were seen entering Bangladesh, while many were seen waiting on the Naf river at the Myanmar border to cross over.
Some of the Rohingya refugees said they had left the Rakhine state because the Myanmarese security forces, along with local armed residents, are continuing to kill, torture and set fire to their homes. The military is also using loudspeakers and calling on them to leave Rakhine state. From Tuesday morning to yesterday noon, this correspondent saw fire and smoke at least at seven places inside Myanmar.
“The military has set fire to our village, Naisabro, in Muangdaw. They are making loudspeaker announcements, telling us to leave the village. Those staying back are being tortured,” said Zahed Hossain, hailing from Naisabro.
Khaled Mahmud, additional district magistrate and head of the Rohingya monitoring cell in Cox’s Bazar, said the number would be more than what the UNHCR has suggested.
10 more bodies fished out from Naf river The police yesterday (Wednesday) found 10 more bodies of Rohingyas after a boat capsized in the Naf river earlier in the day.
“Local people informed us that some bodies were floating in the river at different points of Shahporirdwip. We found 10 bodes at Jaliapara in Teknaf upazila,” Mohammad Main Uddin Khan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf police station, said.
The death toll in Rohingya boat capsizals now stands at 87.