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Bangladeshi prime minister condemns Myanmar over Rohingya treatment

'We are currently sheltering over 800,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas from the Rakhine state of Myanmar' said Sheikh Hasina

22 September 2017, 11:20am
Rohingya cross a river at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh (Photo: Asia Times)
Rohingya cross a river at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh (Photo: Asia Times)
Bangladeshi Prime Minister delivered sharp judgment on Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims, after thousands fled across the border into their territory to escape violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Addressing the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s leader, said she did so with a “heavy heart”.

“I have come here just after seeing the hungry, distressed and hopeless Rohingya’s from Myanmar”, she said.

“We are currently sheltering over 800,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas from the Rakhine State of Myanmar”, she maintained.

Bangladesh PM speaks at the UN General Assembly (Photo: Dhaka Tribune)
Bangladesh PM speaks at the UN General Assembly (Photo: Dhaka Tribune)
Despite the fact that many Rohingya families have lived in Rakhine for generations, Myanmar considers the Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Bangladesh, on the other hand, considers them to be Burmese. As a result, they are stateless.

Over 430,000 have fled since 25 August, said Hasina, quoting figures from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with over half of them being children, who have made the treacherous journey across the Naf River before arriving in over-crowded camps around Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Myanmar, said, earlier in September that at least 1000 people had been killed in the violence, though she said that figure is "very likely an underestimate."

"Figures are difficult to verify because of lack of access to the affected areas," she said.

On Wednesday the US State Department announced that the US will provide humanitarian aid worth nearly $32 million to Rohingya who have fled violence in recent weeks.