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Over half million Rohingya fled Myanmar, 2000 per day, says UN

07 October 2017

A Bangladesh minister gave details of the mega camp as Myanmar's army blamed Rohingya militants for setting fire to houses in troubled Rakhine state in recent days to intensify the exodus of the Muslim minority across the border, British newspaper Guardian reported.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director-general Zulkifli Abu Bakar reportedly said the agency would not drive away any of the refugees, many of whom were travelling on sea vessels, and would instead provide temporary shelter for them.

A small United Nations team visited the crisis-wracked region in majority Buddhist Myanmar in recent days and described witnessing "unimaginable" suffering.

The influx has also put Bangladesh under enormous strain, with the South Asian country already hosting at least 300,000 Rohingya refugees in squalid camps along its border with Myanmar before the latest surge in arrivals.

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Prior to the Monday talks in Dhaka, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had demanded an immediate end to violence and safe passage in Myanmar for the refugees to return to their ancestral homes.

The UN has "substantial capacity" in Myanmar which can be quickly deployed to northern Rakhine once clearance is granted he added.

The advisory commission led by Annan had recommended that the government hold perpetrators of serious human rights violations against Muslims in Rakhine accountable and ensure the right to freedom of movement for all residents of Rakhine.

The stress on Bangladesh has been increasing as the inflow of refugees continues even after nearly more than 40 days after the first instance of violence on 25 August.

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"Many of those arriving in Cox's Bazar are malnourished, over 200,000 urgently need food aid, including 145,000 children, " the IOM said.

Earlier this week, the United Nations warned of the huge pressure to accommodate refugees who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, in an appeal for $430 million to provide aid for those displaced.

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".

Rohingya-majority Rakhine has been emptied of half of its Muslim population over the past weeks and more people are on the move as unspeakable acts of violence continue against the Rohingya.

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Haque further said that Bangladesh has given Myanmar a written proposal on how to take back the Rohingyas and in this regard, a working group consisting of representatives of both countries has been set up.

Over half million Rohingya fled Myanmar, 2000 per day, says UN