Over 200 Rohingya wait to enter Bangladesh: Report

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – More than 200 Rohingya are waiting near the southern border of Bangladesh to enter the country in search for safe shelter in the face of an alleged fresh crackdown by Myanmar military, local media reported on Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Asaduzzaman Chowdhury, director of Border Guards of Bangladesh (BGB) Battalion-II, told the Daily Star they came to know last Thursday that over 200 Rohingya people were waiting near Shah Porir Dwip in Teknaf.

The border guarding force of Bangladesh has already strengthened its monitoring on the area, the report added.

Apart from BGB, the Coast Guard members were patrolling the Naf River, the only border sharing river between Bangladesh and Myanmar, to avoid any influx.

Abdul Motaleb Mater, a Rohingya community leader at Leda refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, told the daily that he learned from his family members and other contacts in Myanmar that many Rohingya from several villages have gathered on the eastern side of the Naf river.

They have gathered there in search for safe shelter as Myanmar army has started another crackdown on Thursday, he said.

– Background

Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

In a recent report, titled Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience, the OIDA raised the estimated number of murdered Rohingya to 23,962 (± 881) from a Doctors Without Borders figure of 9,400.

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police. Over 115,000 Rohingya houses were also burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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