Myanmar conflict: nearly 125,000 refugees flood into Bangladesh

The number of Rohingya refugees crossing from Myanmar into Bangladesh is rising continuously, with over 35,000 new arrivals being identified in the last 24 hours

5 September 2017, 2:57pm
More Rohingya refugees pour into Bangladesh. Photo: Financial Express
More Rohingya refugees pour into Bangladesh. Photo: Financial Express
In light of the recent violence on Myanmar, which pushed aid services in Bangladesh to the brink, there has been a massive influx of Rohingya refugees.

In light of the recent violence in Myanmar, there has been a massive influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing the area to Bangladesh, where aid services have been pushed to their limits, with camps already over capacity, aid workers said.

According to the UN refuge agency, a total of 123,000 refugees have fled Western Myanmar since August 25. “The numbers are very worrying. They’re going up very quickly”, said UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan.

The agency is pleading for assistance, claiming it needs more land to be made available in order to set up new camps to accommodate the overwhelming number of refugees arriving traumatised, hungry and in dire need of medical assistance.

“Most have walked for days from their villages — hiding in jungles, crossing mountains and rivers with what they could salvage from their homes,” the agency said in a statement.

“An unknown number could still be stranded at the border.”

Many arrived with tales of their homes being set alight and Myanmar soldiers  firing indiscriminately in their villages in Rakhine state.

Tens of thousands of new refugees have been taken in at established camps that have been housing Rohingya since the 1990’s, but they have reached “breaking point,” the U.N. refugee agency said. Thousands of others were now sheltering under emergency tents, in makeshift camps or out in the open.

The new refugee estimate on Tuesday was the result of aid workers conducting much more accurate counts that revised Monday’s estimates up from 87,000, Tan said.

Rohingya Muslims have faced discrimination for a long time now, in majority-Buddhist Myanmar. As a result, they began entering Bangladesh after August 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked Myanmar police posts, which prompted security forces to respond with attempts of rooting our insurgents from villages.