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24/05/24 | 9:24 am | Bangladesh | Myanmar

Rohingyas Crisis: UN expert appeals to Bangladesh to reverse its closed border policy

UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Tom Andrews on Thursday appealed to the Bangladesh Government to “reverse its closed border policy’ and demonstrate their humanitarian support for the Rohingya once again.

Thousands of innocent lives will be lost if the international community fails to respond to ominous signs of another Rohingya bloodbath in Rakhine State of Myanmar, a UN expert said in a press release on Thursday.

The Special Rapporteur said once again, Bangladesh’s generosity may be their only hope as large groups of Rohingya are forcibly displaced and move towards the border.

However, the Special Rapporteur warned that Bangladesh does not have the capacity to meet the demands of this crisis without the emergency intervention and support of the international community. Bangladesh is already overburdened with 1.3 million Rohingyas.

Rations cuts, inadequate infrastructure, spiraling violence, and reported forced recruitment by Rohingya militant groups have threatened the lives and wellbeing of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

He urged all States to provide an emergency infusion of funds to help rescue and support desperate families fleeing conflict and address the current conditions in the camps.

Andrews said while the military-imposed internet shutdown makes it challenging to get information from Northern Rakhine, alarming and credible reports of killings, enforced disappearances, and widespread arson are emerging.

Satellite imagery reveals the burning of large parts of the Buthidaung town, with reports that tens of thousands of Rohingya are being displaced.

“Information that has already emerged from northern Rakhine State more than warrants an immediate emergency response by the international community,” the Special Rapporteur said.

Andrews recalled that by opening its border in 2017, Bangladesh saved the lives of untold numbers of Rohingya who fled in the face of genocidal attacks.

By, Navalsang Parmar, Dhaka

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