Myanmar violence: Thousands of Rohingyas enter Bangladesh, more stranded in no man's land
A Myanmar border guard police officers stand guard in Myanmar's Buthidaung in the northern Rakhine state on July 13. Photograph: (Reuters)
Thousands of Rohingyas are left stranded in the middle of nowhere as they make desperate attempts to enter Bangladesh in a bid to flee persecution in their homeland in Myanmar.
The death toll from the violence by Rohingya insurgents since Friday has climbed to 98, including 80 insurgents and 12 security personnel, the government said.
Local police with the help of Border Guards Bangladesh have pushed back at least 100 Rohingyas since Friday (August 26) and have increased their vigil in the area after tension erupted in the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, said Chailau Marma, chief of Ukhia police to WION.
Fresh violence reportedly erupted on Friday after members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army launched an attack on Myanmar security forces, resulting in a retaliation in which at least 89 people including a dozen security personnel were killed.
The crackdown by security forces following the attack has prompted thousands of Rohingyas to flee their homeland for security.
Nearly 4,000 to 5,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh between Saturday evening and Sunday morning and have sought shelter at various places including the Balukhali and Leda makeshift camps as well as in other villages, said members of the Rohingya community in Cox's Bazar.
The fresh influx is being reported through the Tumbru village in Cox's Bazar.
Police or Border Guard Bangladesh however, could not confirm the numbers.
"Rohingyas will not be able to stay in Myanmar. The military are firing wherever they are finding them," said Satter Islam, a registered Rohingya refugee in Cox's Bazar.
Nearly 87,000 Rohingyas migrated into Bangladesh illegally since last October following a crackdown by security forces in Myanmar on the Muslim minorities.
Bangladesh's foreign ministry summoned the charge d’affaires of Myanmar on Saturday and expressed "serious concern at the possibility of recurrence of such a situation".
Bangladesh has provided nearly 30,000 Rohingyas with refugee status until 1992 but unofficial estimates suggest more than 500,000 Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh illegally.
“We wish to return to Myanmar if the government provides us nationality and citizenship,” said Shafiul Mostafa, another registered Rohingya refugee at Cox’s Bazar.
The Rohingya are considered stateless people as the Myanmar government through an amendment in its 1982 Citizenship law revoked nationality and citizenship of the Muslim minority group consisting of roughly 1 million people.
Rohingya members in Bangladesh say that Myanmar’s fresh agitation is retaliation to an investigation by an advisory commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan which urged the Myanmar government to reinstate citizenship of the Rohingya and end persecution on the community.