Over one lakh Rohingyas entered Bangladesh

Over one lakh Rohingyas entered Bangladesh

SAM Report,
Rohingya refugees walk on the muddy path after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar, September 3, 2017, Photo: Reuters

Over one lakh Rohingyas have so far crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar, fleeing persecution in their homeland Rakhine state since the eruption of the latest spell of violence on August 25 and Bangladesh is struggling to managing such influx, local administrators said on Monday.

Cox’s Bazar deputy commissioner Ali Hossain said that an estimation based on humanitarian agencies provided information shows that ‘nearly one lakh Myanmar citizen has entered the district’ while a top official of Bandarban said that the at least 10 to 12 thousand Rohingyas has entered at the district.

Bandarban deputy commissioner Dilip Kumar Banik, however, said that they do not have any estimation how many Myanmar citizen has entered the country.

UNHCR Bangladesh spokesman Joseph Tripura said different humanitarian agencies’ cumulative estimations showed that at least 73,000 Myanmar citizen had entered Bangladesh till Sunday after the fresh violence erupted in Rakhine state.

All three said that they do not have information how many Rohingyas are stranded along with Bangladesh border fleeing persecution at their homeland.

‘Bangladesh is struggling to cope with influx situation. Different humanitarian agencies are providing help to the newly entrant Rohingyas but that was too little in compare with need,’ Ali Hossain said.

Joseph said that many of these Myanmar citizens, including children, women and elderly people, were suffering from food, shelter and medicine crisis.

Local people in Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar and leaders of registered and unregistered Rohingya camps, however, said that the number of Rohingyas entering Bangladesh was much higher than the UNHCR, even district administration estimation.

The recent violence erupted on August 25, when Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army reportedly attacked at least two dozen different police posts and checkpoints and one military base across three townships in northern Rakhine State and the Burma Army launched ‘clearance operations’.

The insurgent group, later, said that they launched the attacks to pre-empt possible attack my Myanmar army and security forces on Rohingyas.

Officials in Dhaka said that Rohingyas had continued entering Bangladesh fleeing persecution of the ethnic minority in Myanmar since 1978.

The problem turned acute after the influx of Rohingyas in 1991-92, 2012 while 87,000 Rohingya refugees had entered Bangladesh in 10 months since October 2016, according to an estimate of International Organization for Migration.

Currently, only 33,000 Rohingyas are registered in the two official refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. The Planning Commission in its project proposal for a census said that 3-5 lakh unregistered Rohingya refugees were living in Bangladesh.