Bangladesh PM says government will continue to help Rohingya



There are an estimated 809,000 Rohingya sheltering in Bangladesh after fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar, more than half a million of whom have arrived since August 25 to join 300,000 Rohingya who were already there.

The Rohingyas started fleeing Myanmar after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts there on August 25, prompting security forces to launch a counter-offensive which the United Nations has described as "a textbook case of ethnic cleansing".

According to Unicef, 5,011 cases of diarrhea were reported last week among these people, which should serve as an alert.

European Council President Donald Tusk called on Myanmar to comply with its global rights obligations and allow Rohingya refugees to return home after weeks of violence forced more than 500,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

About the ongoing refugee crises, he said the Myanmar government and the Bangladeshi government alongside the United Nations and other members of the worldwide community, must address their needs.

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For its part, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is seeking $83.7 million in additional funds for the next six months to help the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. He equivocated on whether it amounted to ethnic cleansing, preferring instead to describe the situation as a "human tragedy", global media reports quoted Patrick Murphy, a senior US official for Southeast Asia, as saying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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Mr Lowcock said the access given to humanitarian workers in northern Rakhine state, where the crisis is centred, is "unacceptable".

But analysts say its leadership has spent years building up support in village cells across northern Rakhine, recruiting young men to the cause of defending the Rohingya's political rights. Most people in Myanmar see the Rohingya as foreigners, even though most were born there.

"Massive and immediate scale-up is required to save lives", they said.

A senior United Nations official was expected to visit Myanmar in the next few days, according to Lowcock.

Bangladesh plans to build the camp on 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of land next to a refugee camp at Kutupalong near the border town of Cox's Bazar. Myanmar has started negotiation, she said.

Dwelling on the violation of Bangladesh airspace by Myanmar air force during the initial days of the current crisis, the prime minister mentioned that Naypyidaw had instigated Dhaka in a variety of manners. "There is that risk in this complicated environment", Patrick Murphy, a deputy assistant secretary of state, told a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives foreign affairs committee.

"The EU continues to assume its responsibilities by receiving people in need of protection and by assisting host countries close to the conflict zones", Tusk said after the talks.

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