Burma: 21,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to Bangladesh amid 'attempted genocide'
by Adam Withnall - 12/6/2016
New figures show around 21,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma in recent weeks amid accusations of potential "genocide".
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said: "An estimated 21,000 Rohingya have arrived in Cox's Bazar between 9 October and 2 December."
The government of Burma has criticised media reports of violence against the Rohingya, and lodged a formal protest against a UN official in Bangladesh who said the state was carrying out "ethnic cleansing".
At the weekend, the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak led a protest rally against what he called the "genocide" of the Rohingya minority, saying "enough is enough".
And the UN's rights agency has said the Rohingya may be victims of "crimes against humanity", and that Burma "has largely failed to act on the recommendations made in a report by the UN Human Rights Office".
Burma does not allow foreign journalists and investigators access to the western Rakhine province where the worst abuses are alleged to have taken place.
But refugees interviewed in Bangladesh relayed allegations of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of state security forces, according to the AFP news agency.
An analysis of satellite images by Human Rights Watch found hundreds of buildings in Rohingya villages have been razed.
The conflict stems from a breakdown in relations between Burma's Theravada Buddhists and the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group, that has resulted in one of the worst refugee crises in the world.
Bangladesh has proved reluctant to accept the Rohingya people, resisting calls to open its borders to the half a million still inside Burma and increasing border patrols.
Islam is by far the majority religion in Bangladesh, and there has been outrage in the country at the treatment of their fellow Muslims across the border.
On Tuesday police stopped thousands Muslims from marching to the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka to protest at the ongoing "genocide" of Rohingya.
Shiblee Noman, an assistant commissioner of Dhaka police, told AFP about 10,000 Muslims joined the march, which was halted at central Dhaka's Nightingale Crossing.
"They were peaceful," he said.
More than 230,000 Rohingya are already living in Bangladesh, most of them illegally, although around 32,000 are formally registered as refugees.
#Rohingya Muslim women and children fleeing persecution in #Burma.. - https://www.facebook.com/doamuslims/...0984919282406/