Bangladesh sends back 90 Rohingya despite violence

Laura Christensen
August 28, 2017

Myanmar's government said it had evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim villagers amid ongoing clashes in northwestern Rakhine state, as thousands more Rohingya Muslims sought to flee across the border to Bangladesh on Sunday. Suu Kyi has condemned the raids in which insurgents wielding guns, sticks and homemade bombs assaulted 30 police stations and an army base.

Attacks by militants on police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state have left 71 people, including 12 security personnel, dead, the authorities say. "They were pleading with us to not send them back to Myanmar", an officer said.

Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine State in Myanmar gather near the Bangladesh border.

The treatment of approximately 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in mainly Buddhist Myanmar has emerged as the biggest challenge for national leader.

"We have entered Bangladesh to save our life", he said.

The UN's International Organization for Migration said recently that around 87,000 Rohingya had crossed the border and entered Bangladesh since last October, when a new string of violence broke out in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Fighting between the military and hundreds of Rohingya militants continued Saturday with the fiercest clashes near the major town of Maungdaw, according to locals and the government sources.

The government has denied numerous allegations leveled against the military - including those of human rights abuses - and says it's investigating others.

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Hours later, a auto sped into Cambrils some 120 kilometers (75 miles) south, hitting people before crashing into a police vehicle. Some pro-independence marchers turned out bearing their flags and booed both the king and the prime minister.

He also criticised Myanmar's Suu Kyi "for waging a very unsafe propaganda campaign" against humanitarian workers helping the Rohingya. "Let us all ask the Lord to save them, and to elicit men and women of goodwill to help them, for them to be given their full rights".

Most Rohingya endure apartheid-like conditions as they are denied citizenship and face severe restrictions on their movements.

The government and supporters of the Rohingya have traded charges of killing civilians, burning homes down and planting land mines, with the insurgents reported as having killed six people identified as Hindu.

The government refuses to recognise Rohingya as a legitimate native ethnic minority, calling them Bengalis to push the position they are mostly illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, though many can trace family in Burma for generations.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) on Saturday urged the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to consider withdrawal of an advisory with regard to the proposed deportation of Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar.

It has declared the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which instigated the October attacks and claimed responsibility for the latest offensive, a terrorist organisation in the wake of the attacks. They do not find mention in that country's official listing of 135 ethnic communities, and are thus not recognised as citizens by Myanmar.

Police said some of those detained had entered Bangladesh via the Ghumdhum border area - where the Myanmar forces unleashed the barrage of fire just hours earlier.

Other reports by My Hot News

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