Rohingya crisis: Solution must be found in Myanmar, says Bangladesh

Saul Bowman
October 7, 2017

Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, attends a news conference on his visit to Bangladesh for the Rohingya refugee crisis, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 6, 2017.

The Myanmar government says its forces are fighting insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who claimed responsibility for Rakhine state attacks on about 30 police posts and an army camp on August 25, which led to the crackdown.

Bangladesh still plans to expand a massive settlement in the south to accommodate almost the 900,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees that have streamed into the country from Myanmar.

Rohingya Muslim refugees exhausted by their journey rest upon arrival on the Bangladeshi shoreline of the Naf river after crossing the border from Myanmar in Teknaf on September 30.

In a new report released Friday, Refugees International described the actions of the Myanmar military as "crimes against humanity".

Almost half a million Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh due to violence in the Rakhine state that has claimed lives of at least more than 100 people and displaced several others.

Until now, Myanmar has not allowed the United Nations fact-finding mission to visit Rakhine, and the proposed solutions to end the Rohingya's plight recommended by Annan's team have been dismissed by Myanmar's leadership.

India had also called for implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission recommendations as a solution to the crisis.

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.

Health experts have also voiced alarm that conditions in the grossly deficient camps are ripe for disease outbreaks such as cholera.

Myanmar has closed most access to the area, but a couple of agencies have offices open there and the International Committee of the Red Cross is helping the Myanmar Red Cross to deliver aid.

An EU delegation also joined the UN's whistle-stop trip to Rakhine, which took in Maungdaw and Rathedaung areas, explaining in a statement "this was not an investigation mission and could not be in the circumstances".

There was widespread scepticism over whether any will be able to return and it remains unclear where the Rohingya would go if they did, since many of their villages have been burnt to the ground.

Local officials in Rakhine said Monday's tour includes meetings with relatives of victims allegedly killed by Muslim militants during the violence against Mro and Daignets minority Hindu communities in Maungdaw township.

A previous controlled tour for diplomats scheduled for last week was abruptly canceled.

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