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Myanmar journalists arrested in Bangladesh

16 September 2017

Refugees wait for food to be distributed by local organizations in Teknaf, Bangladesh, Sept. 13, 2017.

A military campaign to wipe out Rohingya insurgents has rained violence down on Myanmar's Rakhine state, sending almost 390,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing for sanctuary in Bangladesh. We are partners in your concerns over the loss of lives of security forces and innocent people due to the extremist violence in Rakhine State. Asked if he agreed the Rohingya population was being ethnically cleansed, he replied: "When one-third of the Rohingya population has got to flee the country, can you find a better word to describe it?".

"We also urge the authorities in Myanmar to take measures to protect all civilians from the ongoing violence and we call for the full, unimpeded resumption of humanitarian assistance activities for United Nations and global humanitarian organizations in Myanmar", she said in a statement.

While the Myanmar military said it is only targeting Rohingya insurgents, al-Hussein scoffed at the statement, saying satellite images clearly showed the military burning Rohingya villages.

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US State Department official Patrick Murphy was set to visit Myanmar to press for an end to violence and allowing humanitarian aid in Rakhine state. Such statements have to be agreed by consensus and Russian Federation and China have traditionally protected Myanmar from any action. Other UN agencies have sounded the alarm over conditions for the Rohingya who have fled a military crackdown in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Bangladesh has accused Myanmar of repeatedly violating its air space and warned that any more "provocative acts" could have "unwarranted consequences", raising the possibility of a deterioration in relations already strained by a refugee crisis.

"Our Muslim brothers and sisters are in a bad situation, so I have to go and bring them", said Mohammed Alom, 25, a fisherman in the Bangladeshi village of Shamlapur. "People are dying and suffering in frightful numbers and we need to stop it".

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says that the number of Muslim Rohingya who have crossed into Bangladesh to escape ethnic unrest in Myanmar since August 25 hit 389,000.

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The Red Cross therefore does not know how many villages have been destroyed since the violence broke out late last month, she said.

Simon said he had seen children as young as three arrive in Bangladesh without their parents.

Guwahati: At a time when the central government claims that it would identify and deport Rohingyas taking refuge in India, many are wondering if that is even possible as Myanmar does not accept them as its citizens.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy will travel to Myanmar to meet with officials this weekend regarding the violence in the country, including the attacks on Rohingya Muslims.

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Myanmar journalists arrested in Bangladesh