India Saddened Over Violence And Terrorist Attack In Myanmar

Rohingya people escape fresh gunfire at the Bangladesh Myanmar frontier near Rakhine on Saturday

According to official figures, at least 98 people have died, including 80 militants and 12 soldiers or police, since armed members of the Rohingya ethnic group launched co-ordinated attacks on police and army posts in the far west of Burma.

"The Myanmar government has not moved quickly or decisively enough to remedy the deep, years-long policy failures that are leading some Muslims in Rakhine State to take up violence", said the report, released on Saturday.

Ethnic Rakhine and other residents of Maungdaw have been evacuated to Sittwe and Rathedaung, while thousands of Rohingya have fled across the border to Bangladesh. "We want to stay here or else we'll get killed". "We helped them enter through several points but are sending them to Kutupalong", said Mia, referring to another camp.

Bangladesh stressed on the need for respecting the state responsibility to protect its civilian population and urged Myanmar to ensure appropriate protection and shelter for the unarmed civilians especially the vulnerable segments of the population such as women, children and elderly people.

The security forces' offensive has been beset by allegations of arson, killings and rape; and forced more than 87,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.

After three years of Buddhist atrocities directed at Rohingyas, a radicalized group of Rohingyas formed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

Violence erupted over the weekend in the impoverished Rakhine state, leaving almost 80 suspected Rohingya insurgents, 12 security officers and six civilians dead, according to state media.

Bangladesh government sources say the unofficial policy is one of "closed doors, but open windows" - as there are many points along the more than 100km border which are easy to cross as they are not guarded.

Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar since the early 1990s and there are now about 4,00,000 in Bangladesh, which has said no new refugees will be allowed in.

Matthew Smith, chief executive officer at Fortify Rights, a human rights group, said with the "authorities treating all Rohingya as combatants", the government's account of the violence would be "dubious at best".

Late on Sunday, nine Rohingya men have been admitted to the state-run hospital in the southeastern city of Chittagong, said police.

Myanmar is overwhelmingly Buddhist, but about 1 million Muslim Rohingya live in the northern part of Rakhine, the western state where the violence is taking place. Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi keeps rejecting United Nations accounts as she seems incapable of reigning in the military and violent Buddhist mobs. Many also tried to hide in bushes as panic was created.

In February, Francis issued a stinging criticism of the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya community, saying they had been tortured and killed simply because they wanted to keep their culture and Muslim faith.

What hope now for the Rohingya in Myanmar?

The UNHCR has seen at least 3,000 new arrivals to their official camps in the last 72 hours, UNHCR Bangladesh's Joseph Surjamoni said.



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