UN Denounces Lack of Humanitarian Access to Myanmar's Rakhine State

More than 507,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched its crackdown
More than 507,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched its crackdown
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07 October, 2017

"The access we have in northern Rakhine State is unacceptable", Lowcock added after a small team of United Nations staff visited the majority-Buddhist Myanmar in recent days and described witnessing "unimaginable" suffering.

"It is not only people's movement but it is also a security issue, a border issue, which has the potential to destabilise the region, not just areas in Myanmar and Bangladesh", Haque said, while stressing how the solution to problem lies in Myanmar and how Dhaka wants the refugees to return "as soon as possible".

The UN has described the government-sanctioned crackdown on Rohingya as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

A Myanmar official tally says hundreds of people died as violence consumed remote communities, including Rohingya, AFP reported.

A small United Nations team visited the crisis-wracked region in majority Buddhist Myanmar in recent days and described witnessing "unimaginable" suffering.

Myanmar has come under worldwide criticism for barring aid groups, journalists and other outsiders from independently traveling to the region to see the situation there.

"The thousands of potential new refugees are waiting to cross the border from Buthidaung, a township in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state, " he said, citing observers in the area.

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On the sidelines, he had wide-ranging discussions with Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, especially on the violence and subsequent exodus from Northern Rakhine.

Cholera is a risk, amid fears of disease spreading in the rain-drenched camps where aid workers are trying to install sanitation systems, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation said.

Myanmar has tightly controlled access to the state since last month when attacks by Rohingya militants prompted an army kickback that has sent 515,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.

But Bangladesh minister Mahmood Ali said there had been a repatriation offer in what he called "friendly" talks in Dhaka with the representative of Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

She has condemned rights abuses and said Myanmar was ready to start a process agreed with Bangladesh in 1993 by which anyone verified as a refugee would be accepted back.

Bangladesh will build a single, enormous refugee camp to house around 800,000 Rohingya refugees as a Bangladeshi minister warned his country was struggling to deal with the flood across the border.


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