UN: ‘Alarming number’ of Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/08/17, 09:03 am
The United Nations on Friday said 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have left Burma, also known as Myanmar, and crossed into Bangladesh following conflicts that began two weeks ago. The numbers continue to rise as aid workers discover more refugee settlements, according to UN Refugee Agency spokeswoman Vivian Tan. “This is an alarming number,” Tan said. “The existing camps are full to the capacity.” The unrest began on Aug. 25 when Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar security bases in Rakhine state after accusing them of assaulting their ethnic group. Government forces have since declared “clearance operations,” and more than 400 people have died in the clashes. Myanmar denies the Rohingya Muslims citizenship rights and legal status. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday said the country is trying its best to respond to its “biggest challenge.” The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has come under international criticism for her lack of response to the crisis. Her interview Thursday with Asian News International was her first public remarks since the unrest began: “Our resources are not as complete and adequate as we would like them to be, but still, we try our best and we want to make sure that everyone is entitled to the protection of the law.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.