In Burma, the unprecedented humanitarian crisis of the Rohingya

What is being played in closed session in western Burma is perhaps breaking records in the long and tragic history of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority living in the cantons on the border of Bangladesh . Since the 25th August attack on some 20 Burmese police stations by Rohingya armed with machetes, daggers and rifles, the number of refugees who have managed to escape to Bangladesh by crossing the river separating the two countries has grown in proportions never seen.

Even though the Bangladeshi border guards have tried to repulse some of the refugees, many are closing their eyes and according to the figure given on Monday 4th September by the United Nations Coordination Office in Bangladesh, 87,000 Muslims, nearly 10 per cent of the total Rohingya population have now been added to the hundreds of thousands of their coreligionists who have arrived in waves in southern Bangladesh since the early 1990s.

More than one hundred thousand of them are already surviving in Burmese refugee camps near Sittwe since the bloody 2012 riots between Buddhists and Muslims. Some UN sources also estimate that some 20,000 other refugees are trapped in a no-man’s land on the border along the Naf River.


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