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Published: 2017-10-07 09:56:18 | Updated: 2017-10-07 09:56:18

UN braces for further Rohingya exodus

The United Nations braced on Friday for a possible "further exodus" of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh, UN humanitarian aid chief said. Some 5,15,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine in an unrelenting movement of people that began after security forces responded to Rohingya militant attacks with a brutal crackdown. "This flow of people of Myanmar hasn't stopped yet. Obviously there's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas still in Myanmar, and we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus," Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told a news briefing in Geneva. An estimated 2,000 Rohingyas are arriving in Bangladesh every day, Joel Millman of the International Organisation for Migration, told a separate briefing. There may be up to 1,00,000 more people in northern Rakhine waiting to cross into Bangladesh, according to the organisation. Myanmar officials have said they attempted to reassure groups trying to flee to Bangladesh but could not stop people who were not citizens from leaving. The official Myanmar News Agency said that "large numbers" of Muslims were preparing to cross the border. It cited their reasons as "livelihood difficulties", health problems, a "belief" of insecurity and fear of becoming a minority. Myanmar has blocked most access to the conflict-torn area, although some agencies have offices open in towns there and the International Committee of the Red Cross is helping the Myanmar Red Cross to deliver aid. Lowcock reiterated an appeal for access to the population in northern Rakhine, saying, "The access we have in northern Rakhine State is unacceptable." Lowcock repeated the UN's call for the Myanmar government to allow "unhindered [and] unfettered" access and said he believed "a high level" UN team would be able to visit the area "in the next few days". He added that talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh on a repatriation plan were a useful first step. "But there is clearly a long way to go." UN-led aid bodies have appealed for $434 million over six months to help up to 1.2 million people, including 3,00,000 Rohingyas already in Bangladesh before the latest crisis and 3,00,000 Bangladeshi villagers in so-called host communities, reports Reuters.

UN braces for further Rohingya exodus

The United Nations braced on Friday for a possible "further exodus" of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh, UN humanitarian aid chief said. Some 5,15,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine in an unrelenting movement of people that began after security forces responded to Rohingya militant attacks with a brutal crackdown. "This flow of people of Myanmar hasn't stopped yet. Obviously there's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas still in Myanmar, and we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus," Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told a news briefing in Geneva. An estimated 2,000 Rohingyas are arriving in Bangladesh every day, Joel Millman of the International Organisation for Migration, told a separate briefing. There may be up to 1,00,000 more people in northern Rakhine waiting to cross into Bangladesh, according to the organisation. Myanmar officials have said they attempted to reassure groups trying to flee to Bangladesh but could not stop people who were not citizens from leaving. The official Myanmar News Agency said that "large numbers" of Muslims were preparing to cross the border. It cited their reasons as "livelihood difficulties", health problems, a "belief" of insecurity and fear of becoming a minority. Myanmar has blocked most access to the conflict-torn area, although some agencies have offices open in towns there and the International Committee of the Red Cross is helping the Myanmar Red Cross to deliver aid. Lowcock reiterated an appeal for access to the population in northern Rakhine, saying, "The access we have in northern Rakhine State is unacceptable." Lowcock repeated the UN's call for the Myanmar government to allow "unhindered [and] unfettered" access and said he believed "a high level" UN team would be able to visit the area "in the next few days". He added that talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh on a repatriation plan were a useful first step. "But there is clearly a long way to go." UN-led aid bodies have appealed for $434 million over six months to help up to 1.2 million people, including 3,00,000 Rohingyas already in Bangladesh before the latest crisis and 3,00,000 Bangladeshi villagers in so-called host communities, reports Reuters.
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