Wednesday 18 October 2017

Rohingya exodus continues despite Burma's claim of security

A Rohingya from Burma carries an elderly woman after they crossed the border into Bangladesh (AP)
A Rohingya from Burma carries an elderly woman after they crossed the border into Bangladesh (AP)

More Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Burma streamed toward the border on Friday, despite government assurances that it was stopping the massive exodus of refugees to Bangladesh.

A video showed dozens of Rohingya attempting to swim across the currents of a muddy river, from where it is a more than 12-mile walk through jungles to the border.

Many more people, from young children to old men, stood huddled with their belongings on the riverbank in the footage.

Burma has come under international criticism for failing to stop the violence, and in turn the tide of more than half a million Rohingya who have made the often perilous journey to Bangladesh since late August, the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades.

The Burmese government's information committee said in a statement late on Thursday that it had stopped 17,000 Rohingya from fleeing in just four days last week.

"The Burma authorities in northern Rakhine went to the border areas where thousands of Bengalis await to flee and talked to them," it said.

"The local authorities told the Bengalis if they have difficulties with their livelihood, they will provide food and security and to return to their villages.

"The Bengalis agreed to stay."


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