India seals maritime boundary to stop Rohingya Muslim refugees

Kristopher Drake
September 22, 2017

A Red Cross truck carrying aid for Rohingya Muslim refugees crashed in Bangladesh on Thursday killing at least nine people, police said.

United Nations human rights investigators yesterday said they needed "full and unfettered" access to Myanmar to investigate a grave and ongoing crisis, but the government renewed its rejection of the probe.

"We are trying to ensure all possible supports for the Rohingya on humanitarian ground", the minister said adding that construction of new camps, water purification plants and toilet facilities was in progress.

In the affidavit, the government led by rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party also said it fears violence against Buddhists living in India by Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar.

The U.N. rights agency has branded the actions by Myanmar's security forces a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

The crisis has prompted a global chorus of condemnation against Myanmar's government for failing to blame the all-powerful military for the renewed violence, which French President Emmanuel Macron called a "genocide".

Despite the fact the Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations, they aren't considered citizens by the government.

The Rohingya are relegated to the Rakhine State within Myanmar, an area made up of various religious and ethnic minorities, and make up an estimated population of around 1.3 million.

The aid shipment was bound for the north of the Rakhine State where insurgent attacks on August 25 sparked a military backlash.

Most refugees have ended up in camps in the Bangladeshi district of Cox's Bazar, which already had hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who had fled prior rounds of violence.

Civilians crossing the border say the army and Buddhist vigilantes went wild to kill Muslims and torch their homes in the Rakhine state.

But the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the new arrivals - the majority of them women and children - are at risk of human trafficking, as officials and aid workers struggle to cope with the influx.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in her first address on the crisis on Tuesday, condemned rights abuses in Rakhine state but did not address United Nations accusations of ethnic cleansing by the security forces, drawing a cool worldwide response.

Suu Kyi has for years been feted in the West as a champion of democracy during years of military rule and house arrest but she has faced growing criticism over the plight of the Rohingya.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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