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According to the UN, since the repatriation deal was signed on November 23,  nearly 70,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh through different routes  in and near Cox’s Bazar district.
According to the UN, since the repatriation deal was signed on November 23,  nearly 70,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh through different routes  in and near Cox’s Bazar district.

Rohingya Muslims Exodus Still Growing

Rohingya Muslims Exodus Still Growing

Hundreds of desperate Rohingya Muslims are still pouring over the Myanmar border into Bangladesh every week, bringing harrowing accounts of torture and murder, six months after a military crackdown sparked the massive refugee crisis.
The military crackdown in the north of Rakhine has been termed “ethnic cleansing” by the United Nations and the United States, AFP reported.
While Bangladesh and Myanmar talk of repatriating the refugees, the influx continues. Some days 200 people cross the border, on others a few dozen make the perilous journey. More than 2,500 have entered the overflowing camps in Bangladesh so far in February.
Hundreds of Rohingya villages have been torched in the crackdown, according to refugees and monitoring groups. Human Rights Watch said Friday that another 55 villages have been razed since November.
The Rohingya have been systematically stripped of their legal rights in mainly Buddhist Myanmar in recent decades and face rampant discrimination.
Myanmar denies seeking to eradicate the minority but refuses to give UN investigators access to an area where thousands of Rohingya are believed to have been killed.
In November Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement to repatriate some 750,000 Rohingya over two years. Last week Dhaka sent a list of 8,000 names to Myanmar for verification.
But Rohingya leaders bluntly refuse to return. The UN says anyone who goes back must be a volunteer, while Myanmar shows no sign of accepting the Rohingya as full citizens.
“If they send us back, we’ll be tortured or killed. We would rather be killed here in Bangladesh. Here, at least I’ll get a Muslim burial,” said Mohammad Elias, whose group has staged protests against repatriation in recent weeks.
According to the UN, since the repatriation deal was signed on November 23, nearly 70,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh through different routes in and near Cox’s Bazar district.
Some Rohingya who remained in Rakhine’s three main Muslim districts said the situation has improved in parts of the region, but life in the empty villages was unbearable.
Maun Maung Tin, a Rohingya from Maungdaw, said it was impossible to buy or sell goods and they were afraid to complain to authorities.
“The new refugees say that they feel unsafe, threatened and harassed at home, in villages that are often abandoned,” said Kate Nolan, coordinator for Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Bangladesh.
Aid agencies say there is still a critical risk of life-threatening diseases in the overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, where most refugees live in flimsy tarpaulin-and-bamboo huts.
A new threat looms with the cyclone season that starts in April. The massive storms have killed hundreds of thousands along the coast in the past five decades.
“We are concerned about the nature of the shelters, how robust they are and if they are really prepared and equipped for the heavy rains,” said MSF’s Nolan.
Despite the cyclone risk, the Rohingya say they are unwilling to go back.

 

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