Ro­hingyas flee Myan­mar

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

DHAKA: Hun­dreds of Ro­hingya have ar­rived in Bangladesh af­ter flee­ing vi­o­lence in neigh­bor­ing Myan­mar, com­mu­nity lead­ers said yes­ter­day, many with hor­rific tales of troops killing and burn­ing vil­lages. Bangladesh says it has pre­vented hun­dreds more from cross­ing into the coun­try, de­spite pleas from the United Na­tions to open its bor­der af­ter up to 30,000 Ro­hingya were dis­placed by vi­o­lence in Myan­mar’s Rakhine state. Bangladeshi troops have in­ten­si­fied pa­trols along the 237-kilo­me­tre bor­der, but Ro­hingya com­mu­nity lead­ers es­ti­mate that 1,000 peo­ple have still man­aged to get in over the last week.

Most are hid­ing out in camps for the 32,000 legally reg­is­tered al­ready liv­ing in south­east Bangladesh, fear­ing repa­tri­a­tion if they are found by au­thor­i­ties. Mo­ham­mad Amin, 17, said he and 15 oth­ers fled their homes in Rakhine five days ago and reached Bangladesh by swim­ming across the Naf river that di­vides the two coun­tries. “The (Myan­mar) army killed my fa­ther and el­der brother. I hid on a hill and then walked and swam across the river, and took refuge at a mosque (in Bangladesh),” he said by phone from Cox’s Bazar near the bor­der. “Where I looked I saw only burnt houses. I don’t know what hap­pened to my mother and sis­ter.”

Zohra Khatun, 25, ar­rived late Mon­day with her seven chil­dren af­ter their vil­lage was burned to the ground, and has been helped by a rel­a­tive al­ready liv­ing in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. “I waited two days be­fore I had the chance to cross the river to come here,” Khatun said by phone. The rel­a­tive, who asked not to be named, said that at least 100 fam­i­lies had ar­rived at the camp from Myan­mar in the last two days.

An­other com­mu­nity leader said 500 peo­ple had taken shel­ter near two other Ro­hingya refugee camps in the area. Com­man­ders of the Bor­der Guard Bangladesh said their troops had blocked nearly 300 Ro­hingya from cross­ing the bor­der overnight, the high­est num­ber since the cri­sis be­gan last month. “We’re prevent­ing them on the zero line, espe­cially those who were try­ing to cross the barbed-wire fences erected by Myan­mar,” said Im­ran Ul­lah Sarker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.