There was a record of 18,000 Rohingya Muslims having fled fresh violence in Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh, are now stranded in a no man’s land at the countries boarder, the International Organization for Migration reported on Wednesday.
The latest figure was released by the spokeswoman for the IOM in Cox’s Bazar, on the Bangladesh border with Myanmar, Sanjukta Sahany, as the human rights groups and advocates for the Rohingya say the Myanmar army was retaliating for attacks by Rohingya militants by burning down villages and shooting civilians.
The Rohingya insurgents were accused by the Myanmar government for violence, alongside arson. Ninety six people were reported on Sunday as the official death toll and there might be increase in the actual number.
One million Rohingya were estimated by majority of Myanmar to reside in the northern part of Rakhine state and they have faced persecution from the Buddhist-majority country. An attack was launched by the Rohingya insurgents against police posts, setting off retaliation by government forces.
The rohingya crisis is not an issue between Myanmar and Bangladesh but of international concern. Sahany said.
Ali Hossain, Cox’s Bazar district’s top government official, told The Associated Press that their resources were under huge stress after some 87,000 Rohingya entered Bangladesh since October last year and now another 18,000 in just one week.
“I have already informed the government’s high-ups about the trouble we are facing here,” he said. “This is a very complex situation.”
It was also recorded that a boat carrying an unknown number of Rohingya capsized in the Naf River, leaving at least four dead. The boat sank when it was trying to enter Bangladesh through Shah Porir Island in the Bay of Bengal, police official, Main Uddin said.
He said they recovered four bodies and “most probably” many others were missing.
“Our search is on. We don’t know how many were on the boat,” he said.
Col. S.M. Ariful Islam, a director of the Border Guard Bangladesh said 171 Rohingya were turned back after detaining them at different border points over the last two days. He said that border guards provided them with food and medicine before pushing them back, but it was not clear what happened to them later.
Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingya as a legitimate native ethnic minority and has denied citizenship and rights to most of them.