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

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

Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, attends a news conference on his visit to Bangladesh for the Rohingya refugee crisis, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 6, 2017.

The military crackdown causing a massive exodus of Rohingya refugees started in August after Rohingya Muslim insurgents attacked police posts and army bases, this led to 400 deaths and thousands to flee.

However, Haque clarified that Bangladesh was willing to cooperate with Myanmar but at the same time wanted the refugees to "go back as soon as possible".

Over-burdened with over half a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar seeking shelter in Bangladesh, the country's Foreign Secretary, Shahidul Haque on Friday said that the immigration of the minority Muslims from the Buddhist-dominated country can not end the on-going crisis.

Prominent human rights groups have reported documented cases of systematic attacks by the Myanmar military and Buddhist extremists against Rakhine's Muslim population, including random shootings, rape and arson attacks.

Northern Rakhine has been torn apart by violence since August 25, when raids by Rohingya militants sparked a massive army crackdown that the United Nations says is tantamount to "ethnic cleansing".

The OIC had made a stand that the refugees should be allowed to return safely to Myanmar and that Naypyidaw should take concrete measures to handle the deadly conflict which had occurred mainly in the Rakhine province which borders Bangladesh.

Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross to the southeast Bangladeshi port of Cox's Bazar from Myanmar's Rakhine state, the International Organisation for Migration said, citing staff members monitoring the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Health experts have also voiced alarm that conditions in the grossly deficient camps are ripe for disease outbreaks such as cholera.

Access to much of the area has been blocked by Myanmar authorities.

Three groups of diplomats were taken to three different areas on Monday, said Ye Htut, district administrator of Maungdaw in Rakhine.

The country's army also claims that Rohingya militants have set fire to houses in recent days to force more people towards the border.

A previous controlled tour for diplomats scheduled for last week was abruptly canceled.


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