Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Attacks on Rohingyas sought to prevent them from returning

Attacks on Rohingyas sought to prevent them from returning

In this October 2, 2017 photo, two-year old Noyem Fatima offers a piece of banana to her elder brother Yosar Hossein, 7, as they sit on a sidewalk with their belongings in Leda, Bangladesh.

Myanmar's government does not consider Rohingya citizens, referring to them instead as Bengalis from Bangladesh, despite their presence in the country for decades.

Armed Buddhist ethnic Rakhine "mobs" also participated in the violence that has driven almost 500,000 Rohingya Muslims into squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh since August. They heard loud bangs and watched as flames swallowed nearly everything they owned.

The UN refugee agency said earlier it was on full alert for new escalation in the Myanmar crisis after more than 11,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed the border into Bangladesh on Monday.

More than 500,000 Rohingya have fled a military offensive following deadly militant attacks on police in August, with many now in camps in Bangladesh.

"In some cases, before and during the attacks, megaphones were used to announce: "You do not belong here - go to Bangladesh".

United Nations researchers spoke to people who arrived in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar area since August 25, when militant attacks on Myanmar's security forces in Rakhine sparked a major military backlash. "If you do not leave, we will torch your houses and kill you".

Renata Lok-Dessallien was the focus of a BBC investigation last month in which she was accused of suppressing internal discussion on Rohingya Muslims. He urged all Muslim countries to adopt the issue of the Muslim Rohingya and to inform their problem to the worldwide public opinion to pressurize Myanmar to stop its massacres and offer political and humanitarian solutions to alleviate the suffering of these people to regain their rights.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein - who has described the government operations as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" - said in a statement that the actions appeared to be "a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return".

The report says efforts were made to "effectively erase signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape", and teachers, cultural and religious leaders were targeted.

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