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A Rohingya refugee man pulls a child as they walk to the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border  by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh on September 10.
A Rohingya refugee man pulls a child as they walk to the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border  by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh on September 10.

Bangladesh Warns Myanmar Rulers of Unwarranted Consequences

Aid agencies are still blocked from accessing all of Rakhine State due to what the Myanmar military says are security concerns

Bangladesh Warns Myanmar Rulers of Unwarranted Consequences

Bangladesh again warned Myanmar on Friday of violating its airspace as violence has driven nearly 400,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh over the past three weeks in what the UN has described as “ethnic cleansing.”
The foreign ministry in Dhaka said Myanmar military drones and helicopters had violated its airspace on September 10, 12 and 14, as well as on August 25, news outlets reported.
The ministry said Myanmar’s “provocations” could lead to “unwarranted consequences.”
Ties between Bangladesh and Myanmar have been strained since Myanmar’s military launched “clearance operations” on August 25 following an attack by Rohingya militants on police posts.
Myanmar’s presidential spokesman on Saturday said there’s no evidence of any trespassing and that Dhaka should have reached out to discuss its concerns instead of issuing public statements.
In Yangon, presidential spokesman Zaw Htay said that while Myanmar’s military denied crossing into Bangladesh’s airspace, the matter was being investigated. “We don’t know exactly if they released that statement for political reasons,” he said of Bangladesh’s protest.

  Burning Villages
Human rights organizations say Myanmar’s military and Buddhist vigilante groups have burned villages and killed villagers as part of a scorched earth policy to drive them out of the country.
“Our field research backs what the satellite imagery has indicated —that the Burmese [Myanmar] military is directly responsible for the mass burning of Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine State,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

  Myanmar has denied the allegations.
The UN says nearly 400,000 Rohingya have been forced across the border in Bangladesh, raising concerns of a humanitarian crisis.
“There’s really no sign that this flow of people is going to dry up,” said Chris Lom of the International Organization for Migration.
Aid agencies are still blocked from accessing all of Rakhine State due to what the Myanmar military says are security concerns.
Mohammed Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh’s junior foreign minister, said Saturday that India, Turkey, Morocco, Indonesia, Iran and Malaysia have already sent relief and the goods are waiting in an airport in nearby Chittagong, a major coastal seaport city and financial center in southeastern Bangladesh. He said more aid was also expected to come via ships soon.

  Mounting Pressure
“The United Nations and many other private organizations are working there to support hundreds of thousands who are in dire need of assistance,” said Khaled Mahmud, a top official in Cox’s Bazar. He acknowledged that aid distribution remained haphazard three weeks into the crisis.
Most of the refugees are located in or near Cox’s Bazar, located 150 km south of the industrial port Chittagong.
The violence has mounted international pressure on Myanmar’s military leaders and civilian administration, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
US State Department official Patrick Murphy was set to visit Myanmar to press for an end to violence and allowing humanitarian aid in Rakhine State.
But Myanmar officials said Friday Murphy would not be allowed to access the northern part of Rakhine State at the center of the violence during his trip that includes a visit to the state capital, Sittwe.
The UN refugee agency said Friday it was appealing for $30 million for the emergency humanitarian aid for Rohingya in Bangladesh. Myanmar says refugees can return if they are citizens, but most Rohingya are stateless despite having lived in Myanmar for generations.

 

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