Rohingya camps in Bangladesh face cyclone threat

                       By Md. Kamruzzaman</p>    <p>DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Measures should be taken in a coordinated way ahead of the monsoon season to address risk factors at the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, experts said on Wednesday.</p>    <p>The experts were speaking at a workshop, titled Cyclone and Monsoon Preparedness: Cox’s Bazar District and Camp Settlements, jointly organized by Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) and the government of Bangladesh in southern Cox’s Bazar city, said a press release issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).</p>  <p>“We have 6,585 volunteers ready [to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh during monsoon season], among which 990 in Teknaf, 375 in Ukhiya and 1,180 in Cox’s Bazar,” Ahmadul Haq, director of government-run Cyclone Program Preparedness, said on the first-day of the workshop.</p>    <p>Filip Papas, senior coordinator of ISCG, for his part, said: “As the Rohingya camps settlements are very dense and built of extremely fragile materials, risk of landfall during and after cyclone is still very high.” </p>    <p>Collaboration and cooperation among all organizations working in Cox’s Bazar for risk reduction at Rohingya camps are important, the press release quoted Md Rafiqul Islam Babu, deputy secretary general of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, as saying.</p>  <p><br></p>    <p>- Persecuted community </p>  <p>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.</p>    <p>According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.</p>    <p>Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).</p>    <p>More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled &quot;Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.&quot;</p>    <p>Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.</p>    <p>The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.</p>    <p>In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.

UN envoy: Situation in Myanmar must be referred to ICC

             By Bayram Altug </p>    <p>GENEVA (AA) - The UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar called on Monday for the situation in Myanmar to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the Security Council, or a state party or group of states parties.</p>    <p>Speaking at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, Yanghee Lee said: “Victims must not be forced to wait in the purgatory of international inaction; if it is not possible to refer the situation to the ICC, the international community should consider establishing an independent tribunal,” Lee said. </p>    <p>Lee said that she is “fearful of an increasingly internationalized situation of the Rohingya, with deportations from India and Saudi Arabia recently, as well as a boat arrival in Malaysia just last week”.</p>    <p>“I am troubled to hear reports from Bangladesh Government officials that in April they plan to relocate 23,000 Rohingya refugees from the camps in Cox’s Bazar to Bhashan Char, a recently emerged island in the Bay of Bengal.”</p>    <p>&quot;Ill-planned relocation, and relocations without the consent of the refugees concerned have the potential to create a new crisis,” the UN rapporteur warned. </p>    <p>“It is incumbent on the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that this is not brought about,” she said.  </p>  <p> </p>  <p>- Conflict between ethnic armed organizations </p>    <p>The UN envoy also voiced her concern over the conflict between ethnic armed organizations in the northern Myanmar state of Shan. </p>    <p>“Despite the four-month unilateral ceasefire declared by the military in December in the north and east of the country, I am increasingly concerned about the conflict between ethnic armed organizations in Shan State,” she said. </p>    <p>“There are recent reports of civilian deaths and thousands of people have been temporarily displaced from their homes over the last few months, with 1,700 people fleeing from Namtu and Hsipaw since 27 February.</p>    <p>“This repeated and ongoing violation serves only to traumatize and re-traumatize adults and children, disrupting their daily lives, education and livelihoods, and impacting on their ability to access healthcare and basic services. This must not continue.”</p>    <p>She reiterated her call to “all parties to conflicts around the country to protect civilians and take precautions, and to end hostilities.”</p>  <p>Two Rohingya refugees accompanied Lee during the conference. 

Hamide Hatun said that her husband and many members of her family were killed by the Myanmar army and urged the international community to bring justice for Rohingya Muslims.

“We want to return to our country in an honored and secure way, and want our full citizenship rights to be granted,” she said.

Muhip Ullah, the other Rohingya refugee, also called on everybody at the meeting to see their current situation in Cox Bazaar, expressing their expectation from the UN more action than words.

  • Persecuted 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.

    According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women, and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed to Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

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

    More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

    Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

    The UN has also 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 and genocidal intent.

    *Writing by Nilay Kar Onum

World Bank approves $165M for Rohingya in Bangladesh

                By Md. Kamruzzaman</p>    <p>DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - The World Bank (WB) has approved $165 million to help Bangladesh provide relief to Rohingya refugees in the country, the bank said in a statement.</p>    <p>“The grant will help Bangladesh provide basic services and build disaster and social resilience for the Rohingya who have fled violence in Myanmar,” the statement said.</p>    <p>Noting that Rohingya outnumbered more than threefold the local residents in the Teknaf and Ukhia Upazila, the bank said the fund will be used in building a water supply system comprising of community standpoints, rainwater harvesting, and piped water supply systems as well as improve sanitation facilities.</p>    <p>“The project will also build and improve multipurpose cyclone shelters, roads, footpaths, drains, culverts, bridges and install solar street lights inside the camps,” it added.</p>    <p>“The influx has placed enormous pressure on local infrastructure, services and public resources. […] Through our existing and new projects, we are helping the local population,” said Dandan Chen, the World Bank’s acting country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.</p>    <p>“More than half of the Rohingya population are women and girls and before coming to Bangladesh they were exposed to gender-based violence and now are at risk,” World Bank Team Leader for the project Swarna Kazi said.</p>    <p>The grant is the third in a series of planned financings of approximately half a billion dollars announced by the World Bank in June 2018.</p>  <p><br>

– Persecuted people

<p>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.</p>    <p>According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.</p>    <p>Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).</p>    <p>More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled &quot;Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.&quot;</p>    <p>Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.</p>    <p>The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.</p>    <p>In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.</p>  

Rohingya woman set to receive international honor

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – A Rohingya woman is set to receive an international award for contributions to her community.

Razia Sultana is among 10 extraordinary women from around the world who will get the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host the award at the State Department on Thursday, where first lady Melania Trump will deliver special remarks.

"This is a great achievement not only for me but also for my community as through this award we have achieved the acknowledgement of our title Rohingya," Sultana, who is also a Bangladeshi citizen, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

“They [Myanmar government] has already changed our state’s name from Arakan to Rakhine as they want to revoke our existence,” she added.

Condemning the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar authorities, she said: “We want real justice against the whole military force as well as Myanmar government for carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity in Rakhine”.

“We want to go back to our home with safety and with full citizenship rights. We do not want to live in the camp. We have our future, our children have future. You cannot let us live in the camp.”

Sultana was born in 1973 in Maungdaw, Myanmar to ethnic Rohingya parents.

She devoted her career as a lawyer, teacher and activist to advancing human rights for her community.

Since 2016, she has interviewed hundreds of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and published two reports – “Witness to Horror” and “Rape by Command” – documenting systematic sexual violence by Myanmar security forces against the Rohingya.

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.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

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

China offers cash to lure Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

By Pizaro Gozali

JAKARTA (AA) – A Chinese government delegation has reportedly met Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh promising them $6,000 each if they returned to Rakhine State in Myanmar, from where they had earlier fled persecution.

BenarNews reported on Wednesday that Sun Gouxiang, a Chinese envoy for Asian affairs, met 15 men and 14 women at Kutupalong refugee camp in the southeastern town of Cox’s Bazar on Sunday.

“They asked whether we would return to Myanmar if they gave us $6,000,” said Syed Ullah, the secretary general of the advocacy group Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace And Human Rights (ARSPH).

He added that he rejected the offer saying they will not return unless they were granted citizenship with Rohingya identity.

A Bangladeshi official who attended the meeting confirmed to BenarNews that the Chinese delegation had offered some money to help rebuild their homes in Rakhine State.

“At least 200,000 new houses must be built for Rohingya refugees who have been living in Bangladesh, but it would be very difficult to do so,” the official added.

According to the official, it would be impossible to build their houses as most refugees have lost the men in their households during the military crackdown.

The Chinese Embassy in Dhaka has not responded to this report.

Delwar Hossain, an official at the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, said the ministry had arranged a meeting between the Chinese delegation and Rohingya refugees.

Meanwhile, Munshi Fayez, former Bangladeshi ambassador to Beijing, revealed that China wanted to talk to refugees to protect Myanmar from international pressure.

He also said China would get economic benefits from the repatriation as China wanted to establish an economic zone in Rakhine State. If the Rohingya issues remained unresolved, they cannot carry out their plan.

According to the New Light of Myanmar – a government-owned newspaper – Sun has visited several villages in Rakhine State and also met with Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw on Feb. 27.

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.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

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

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

The UN has also 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 and genocidal intent.

Islamic bloc approves legal action against Myanmar

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – In a major diplomatic breakthrough, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) unanimously adopted a resolution to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for establishing the legal rights of Rohingya Muslims, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said Monday.

"The resolution to pursue a legal recourse through the ICJ came after a long series of negotiations to seek accountability for crimes committed against humanity and gross violation of human rights in the case of the Rohingya in Myanmar," the minister said in a statement.

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.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The resolution was adopted in the final session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi which concluded on Sunday.

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

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

The UN has also 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 and genocidal intent.

CORRECTS – Bangladesh: Rohingya to be relocated to island

CORRECTS 6th AND 7th PARAGRAPHS

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh will relocate 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote islet by mid-April, a government minister confirmed on Sunday, but there are fears the chosen site is less than ideal.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week instructed completion of the relocation of 23,000 Rohingya families to Bhashan Char by April 15,” local media quoted Md Enamur Rahman, state minister for disaster and relief management, saying after meeting with Earl Robert Miller, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh.

To make the islet livable, all facilities — including housing, power, communication, healthcare, storm surge protection, and cyclone shelter centers — have been provided, Rahman added.

International groups and rights bodies including the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, however, have repeatedly warned the move could be risky and urged Bangladesh to go through the project with Rohingya refugees on a voluntary basis and with due clarification.

Rahman said a meeting had been held at the prime minister’s office to address the concerns and another is scheduled for March 6.

Under the government plan, he said, over 103,000 Rohingya out of over a million who fled Myanmar will be moved to Bhashan Char at an estimated cost of over 23.12 billion Bangladeshi taka ($275.3 million), fully managed by Bangladesh's government.

  • Risky journey

Until the Rohingya resettlement project began one year ago, the islet was apparently uninhabited, mostly used for cattle grazing and as a hub for pirates.

The islet emerged from the Bay of Bengal in 2006 and is about 30 kilometers (21 miles) from the mainland, and 52 km (32 mi) from the southern Noakhali district.

In 2013, the area was declared a forest reserve. Motorboats are the only mode of travel to the island.

Around 1,350 acres of land — 432 acres occupied and 918 acres vacant — were proposed for the Rohingya rehabilitation project.

However, the journey to Bhasan Char is a difficult and during bad weather can be a dangerous trip.

The average elevation of Bhasan Char is 2.84 meters above mean sea level, according to Bangladesh Naval sources.

Some local and international media reported it takes around one-and-a-half hours to reach Bhasan Char from the nearest land, Noakhali, or the nearest inhabited island, Hatia, via trawler or motorboat. The island is also prone to river erosion.

But last fall Anadolu Agency found it took more than two hours to reach the island by motorboat from either Hatia or Noakhali.

According to Forest Department data and available information, a part of the island disappears into the sea every year due to erosion.

  • Persecuted people

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.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

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

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

The UN has also 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 and genocidal intent.

Bangladesh: Rohingya to be relocated to island

             By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh will relocate 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote islet by mid-April, a government minister confirmed on Sunday, but there are fears the chosen site is less than ideal.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week instructed completion of the relocation of 23,000 Rohingya families to Bhashan Char by April 15,” local media quoted Md Enamur Rahman, state minister for disaster and relief management, saying after meeting with Earl Robert Miller, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh.

To make the islet livable, all facilities — including housing, power, communication, healthcare, storm surge protection, and cyclone shelter centers — have been provided, Rahman added.

International groups and rights bodies including the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, however, have repeatedly warned the move could be risky and urged Bangladesh to go through the project with Rohingya refugees on a voluntary basis and with due clarification.

Rahman said a meeting had been held at the prime minister’s office to address the concerns and another is scheduled for March 6.

Under the government plan, he said, over 103,000 Rohingya out of over a million who fled Myanmar will be moved to Bhashan Char at an estimated cost of over 23.12 million Bangladeshi taka ($275.3 million), fully managed by Bangladesh's government.

– Risky journey

Until the Rohingya resettlement project began one year ago, the islet was apparently uninhabited, used mostly used for cattle grazing and as a hub for pirates.

               <p> The islet emerged from the Bay of Bengal in 2006 and is about 30 kilometers (21 miles) from the mainland, and 52 km (32 mi) from the southern Noakhali district.

In 2013, the area was declared a forest reserve. Motorboats are the only mode of travel to the island.

Around 1,350 acres of land — 432 acres occupied and 918 acres vacant — were proposed for the Rohingya rehabilitation project.

However, the journey to Bhasan Char is a difficult and during bad weather can be a dangerous trip.

The average elevation of Bhasan Char is 2.84 meters above mean sea level, according to Bangladesh Naval sources.

Some local and international media reported it takes around one-and-a-half hours to reach Bhasan Char from the nearest land, Noakhali, or the nearest inhabited island, Hatia, via trawler or motorboat. The island is also prone to river erosion.

But last fall Anadolu Agency found it took more than two hours to reach the island by motorboat from either Hatia or Noakhali.

<p> According to Forest Department data and available information, a part of the island disappears into the sea every year due to erosion.

  • Persecuted people

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.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

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

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

The UN has also 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 and genocidal intent.

35 Rohingya found stranded on Malaysian beach

            By Md. Kamruzzaman</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Villagers in Malaysia found 35 Rohingya women and children stranded Friday along a beach in the country’s northernmost state of Perlis, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>Human traffickers could have dropped off the group from neighboring Thailand, local and international media quoted Malaysian officials and local residents as saying.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>“Based on information gathered by my officers who were at the scene, a group of illegal immigrants believed to be of Rohingya descent was found by the side of the road while another group was still in the sea and assisted to the shore by the public,” RFA quoted police chief Noor Mushtar Mohd as saying.</p>  <p><br>

They might have been dropped off by a fishing boat before dawn on Friday, Mohd said, adding they had to march through the muddy shore during low tide before they met the villagers who aided them with food and new clothes.

“The Rohingya women and children were fed before they were handed over to immigration officers who transported them to the Belantik Immigration Office, about 134 kilometers (83 miles) south,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur, Yante Ismail, however, told local media that the agency would be in contact with Malaysian authorities to seek access to these individuals to assess their needs and humanitarian assistance.

On Thursday, Md Shahidul Haque, the foreign secretary of Bangladesh, the host country of more than 1.2 million Rohingya refugees, told the UN Security Council that the country would no longer be in a position to accommodate more Rohingya refugees.

“Today, without a legal identity, they are at the mercy of traffickers and drug dealers,” UN Humanitarian Envoy Ahmed Al Meraikhi said in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on Feb. 27 following a two-day visit to Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar district.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

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

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

UN urges Bangladesh to keep doors open to Rohingya

             By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The UN on Friday urged Bangladesh to continue to allow Rohingya fleeing persecution in neighboring Myanmar entry into the country. </p>  <p>Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Shahidul Haque informed the Security Council on Thursday that the country could not cope with additional refugees, accusing Myanmar of &quot;making empty promises&quot; about the return to the country of those who fled to Bangladesh. </p>  <p>UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the international body's New York headquarters that it is vital Dhaka continue to allow refugees into the country.</p>  <p>&quot;Bangladesh has been amazingly generous in the support they have given the Rohingya refugees,&quot; Dujarric said. &quot;It is important that people fleeing conflict are able to find safe haven wherever they go.&quot;</p>  <p>According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community beginning in August 2017.</p>  <p>Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Canada-based Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).</p>  <p>Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.</p>  <p>The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.</p>  <p>In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.