45 thousand Rohingya have taken shelter at the border: United Nations

Last Updated on May 25, 2024 9:44 am

About 45,000 Rohingya have fled to the border with Bangladesh as fighting escalated in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, killing and burning homes. The United Nations Human Rights Office reported this information on Friday.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have reportedly been displaced by clashes between junta forces and rebels in the towns of Buthidang and Maungdu in recent days. An estimated 45,000 Rohingya are said to have taken refuge in an area of the Naf River bordering Bangladesh for safety. Where more than 1 million Rohingya are already sheltered in Bangladesh.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Bangladesh and other countries to provide effective protection to the displaced Rohingya in accordance with international law. He also emphasized on ensuring international solidarity with Bangladesh in providing shelter to Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Eyewitnesses, satellite images and online videos and pictures showed the town of Buthidang heavily ablaze. The fire broke out on May 17, two days after the military withdrew from the city and the Arakan Army claimed full control. However, the United Nations has not received any information about which party is responsible for this.

One man described seeing dozens of bodies lying around as he fled the city. Another said he was with a group of thousands of displaced Rohingya. They were blocked by the Arakan Army on the road connecting Buthidang to the west of Mangdu town.

Survivors of the horrific situation described ill-treatment by the Arakan Army. Collected money from them. On their way to a Rohingya village about 10 to 15 km south of the city, they were harassed by the Arakan Army. The Rohingyas there had already been displaced due to village-to-village attacks, where they were going for shelter. Rohingyas in the region have been forced to live with numerous families they don’t know for weeks, without enough food.

In the weeks leading up to the burning of Buthidang, the UN Human Rights Office received evidence of renewed attacks on Rohingya civilians by both Arakan forces and the military in northern Rakhine State. Besides airstrikes, there have been reports of unarmed fleeing villagers being shot at by drones, beheadings, disappearances, burning of houses.

Myanmar’s military has targeted the Rohingya for years. They have actively imposed cruel and discriminatory restrictions making their normal lives impossible.

They see a clear and present risk of a serious escalation of violence, a UN news release said. Because the war has started to take control of the neighboring city of Maungdu. There are several military outposts and a large Rohingya population. Meanwhile, hundreds of displaced Rohingyas have moved from villages to cities for safety.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an immediate end to the violence and the protection of all civilians, regardless of ethnic identity. Allowing the immediate and uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid and calling on all parties to fully and unconditionally comply with international law. Where the International Court of Justice has already ordered to protect the Rohingya.

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