MYANMAR – More than 110 dead, 18K flee, many trapped

NAYPYIDAW – As many as 18,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in less than one week, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The exodus began Friday after the government intensified “clearance operations” following an attack by Rohingya militants on border posts, in which 12 security officials were killed.

Myanmar state media reported Tuesday that more than 110 people had died since Friday’s “coordinated attacks by extremist terrorists.”

While thousands of Rohingya refugees have made it across the border with Bangladesh, thousands of others are stranded in the no man’s land between the two countries, said Shirin Akhter, the National Communication Officer for IOM Bangladesh Mission.

Akhter said it’s unclear how many people have made it into camps along the Bangladeshi border. Numbers are being compiled by aid agencies working in the camps as there is no registration process for Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMNs) in Bangladesh.

The violence erupted hours after a long-awaited report into the treatment of Rohingya by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The report warned that unrest in Rakhine could spiral out of control unless concrete action is taken soon.

“Tensions remain high and they risk becoming worse,” Annan said. “The status quo cannot continue.”

The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, are considered some of the most persecuted people in the world. Myanmar, also known as Burma, considers them Bangladeshi interlopers and Bangladesh says they’re Burmese.

Refugees at the border told CNN Monday that Myanmar army soldiers had shot at them with mortars and machine guns.

“We want to go and take shelter inside Bangladesh and don’t want to go back with my innocent children in the lion’s mouth again,” Amena Khatun, a Rohingya woman, said. “I don’t see any light of hope.”

Earlier this week, Matthew Smith, a founder and Chief Executive Officer of human rights group Fortify Rights told CNN from Bangkok, the stories being told by Rohingya refugees are consistent with his previous understanding of the military’s treatment of civilians.

“Based on the (Myanmar) army’s consistent response in the last couple of months, we know that they have committed mass killings, mass gang rape, (and) razed (Rohingya) villages. Reports of them opening fire on civilians is certainly plausible,” he said.

After similar violence broke out in October 2016, approximately 85,000 civilians fled to Bangladesh, the ministry said.

Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mahbub Uz Zaman expressed “serious concern at the possibility of recurrence of such a situation” and urged Myanmar to protect its civilian population, according to a Ministry statement.

Source: (CNN)

2 Responses to MYANMAR – More than 110 dead, 18K flee, many trapped

  1. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose August 30, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I am sickened as a Buddhist that my fellow brothers and sisters would do this to men women and children, this behavior goes against the teachings of Gautama Buddha and they should be ashamed and stop this madness. Oplogies to all the affected Muslims Buddha bless and namaste.

    Reply
  2. Anthony Michael Hinds
    Anthony Michael Hinds August 30, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    All i can say is that mankind should be glad that i’m not God…..

    Reply

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