Bangladesh warns Myanmar over border violations amid refugee crisis

Saturday, 16 Sep, 2017

The Myanmar security forces responded with what rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say is a campaign of violence and arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.

Sources in the Manipur government informed NDTV that for the past three years every time attempts were made to deport them, Myanmar refused to accept them as their own citizens.

But Myanmar officials said Friday Murphy would not be allowed to access the northern part of Rakhine state at the center of the violence during his trip that includes a visit to the state capital, Sittwe.

Meanwhile UN agencies UNHCR and IOM have launched a joint appeal seeking enhanced humanitarian assistance for fleeing Rohingyas fearing their number could exceed a million as surges of the minority ethnic community from Myanmar continued to hit Bangladesh.

Bukit Aman anti-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay had said it was possible that would-be Malaysian jihadist fighters were seeing similarities between the current troubles in Myanmar and the 1999-2002 conflict in Ambon, Indonesia, between Christians and Muslims.

The council "expressed concern about reports of excessive violence during the security operations and called for immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, ensure the protection of civilians ... and resolve the refugee problem".

Smoke was rising from at least five places on the Myanmar side of the border on Thursday, a Reuters reporter in Bangladesh said.

Women, in particular, are in danger of experiencing violence and enduring threats to their health, dignity and safety.

Myanmar is already struggling to support its people after enduring decades of natural disasters and the world's longest civil war.

AFP correspondents have seen fighting break out among the refugees as food bags and water bottles were tossed from aid trucks near near the Kutupalong refugee camps. As a result, incoming refugees are forced to squat in makeshift shelters.

However, the United Nations food agency has resumed deliveries in the central part of Rakhine this week for 50,000 displaced people.

It is estimated that 60 per cent of Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh are children, he added.

Humanitarian operations have been restricted in Rakhine, leaving hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people without lifesaving aid.

Two Myanmar photographers covering the Rohingya crisis for a German magazine have been arrested in Bangladesh on suspicion of espionage, officials said Friday.

"They were compelled, they had no other way of living their life than escaping from Myanmar".

In a report, United Nations investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

Bangladesh's southeastern Chittagong region has deep historical and linguistic ties with the Rohingya community.