Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Bangladesh Islamists call to arm Rohingya

Fleeing for their lives Bangladesh backs India's stand on Rohingya issue: Foreign minister Haque
Lillian Steele | 07 October, 2017, 00:40

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.

The UN also slammed the level of access granted by Myanmar to the heart of the refugee crisis as "unacceptable".

Mark Lowcock, head of the UN's humanitarian office, said: "This flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet, it's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya (who are) still in Myanmar, we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus".

Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross to the southeast Bangladeshi port of Cox's Bazar from Myanmar's Rakhine state, the International Organisation for Migration said, citing staff members monitoring the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

The UN agencies earlier feared more than 14,100 Rohingya children were at risk of dying from malnutrition in wretched camps, as they were most vulnerable to the paucity of food, with 145,500 infants under five needing urgent intervention to stave off malnutrition.

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to set up a "joint working group" tasked with paving the way for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who have fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar's Muslim-majority Rakhine State.

He added he believed a "high level" United Nations team would be able to visit the region in "the next few days".

About 900,000 doses of cholera vaccine are due to arrive this weekend and a vaccination campaign should start on Tuesday.

"It is important for the Myanmar security forces to handle the situation with restraint, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population", the Indian representative told the Council's 36th Session as per reports, even as it commended Bangladesh for extending humanitarian aid to such a large number from Rakhine.

The OIC had made a stand that the refugees should be allowed to return safely to Myanmar and that Naypyidaw should take concrete measures to handle the deadly conflict which had occurred mainly in the Rakhine province which borders Bangladesh.

Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has come under global criticism for her alleged failure to protect the minority Rohingya people.

"I think the way India is now approaching on the Rohingya issue, we are extremely happy", Bangladesh foreign secretary Shahidul Haque said.

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