Bangladesh warns Myanmar over border amid Rohingya refugee crisis

Jonathan Ernst  Reuters

Jonathan Ernst Reuters

Dhaka: Bangladesh today began constructing 14,000 new shelters for the more than 400,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar to ensure they remain confined to an area and do not fan out across the country.

Worldwide pressure is mounting on Buddhist-majority Myanmar to end the security operation against the marginalised Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine, which was triggered on August 25 when Rohingya militants attacked police posts.

Earlier, the United Nations top human rights official accused Myanmar of carrying out "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya Muslims.

The first lady stressed that Turkey has been closely involved in providing diplomatic support and humanitarian aid to Rohingya Muslims since her first visit to Myanmar in 2012, adding that the recent developments were "unfortunately a clear violation of Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which foresees the protection of human rights without distinction of "race, sex, language, religion, opinion or origin".

Aid organisations are still not able to access all of Myanmar's restive Rakhine state, where deadly violence has displaced hundreds of thousands of minority Muslims, the United Nations food agency and the Red Cross have said. Several political and social parties like MIM, MBT, Welfare Party, Congress, TDP and the Left parties are openly demanding that the BJP-led NDA government should not deport Rohingyas from here on humanitarian grounds.

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The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border and raised questions about Myanmar's path under the leadership of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi after almost 50 years of strict military rule.

Myanmar says the crackdown is a response to last month's deadly attacks on police by militants in the northern state and denies it is targeting civilians.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council have urged Myanmar to end the violence, which he said was best described as ethnic cleansing.

More than 430 people have been killed, a lot of them insurgents, and about 30,000 non-Muslim villagers have been displaced, the government said.

The Myanmar government has declared the group a terrorist organisation and accused it of setting the fires and attacking civilians. CAFOD partner, Caritas Bangladesh, is responding to the refugee crisis by providing emergency aid.

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