Rohingya Muslims killed in Myanmar's Rakhine state since Aug 25: Foreign minister

Frederick Owens
October 11, 2017

United Nations agencies and Bangladesh's health ministry began a massive cholera immunization campaign Tuesday to stem a possible outbreak of the water-borne disease among more than a half million Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.

"WHO is committed to mobilizing its full technical and operational capacity to support the Ministry and our partners to protect, promote and secure the health of this immensely vulnerable population", he added.

At least 10,292 cases of diarrhoea have been reported from across the settlements and camps, the World Health Organization said last week. "Prevention is essential", said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.

There is a "clear and present risk" of the spread of cholera among the population. It says access to clean water, as well as good sanitation and hygiene, are critical for keeping the disease at bay.

The BHRN also said that Bangladeshi authorities destroyed boats arriving from Myanmar with Rohingyas on board, saying that the refugees were transporting drugs into their country and arrested fishermen for helping those fleeing the violence.

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More than half a million Rohingyas have fled Rakhine since the offensive started, amid allegations of civilian killings and burning of villages by witnesses and global organisations, while the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called it a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing". "It is a big increase to see 11,000".

"We made a makeshift arrangement for shifting them to an island called "Bhasan Char" from Cox's Bazar. we need global community's assistance including that of the United Kingdom for their relocation", she said. "I saw them do it", said Sayed Azin, 46, who said he had walked for eight days carrying his 80-year-old mother in a basket strung on a bamboo pole between him and his son.

The bodies of 23 people were retrieved, but the death toll was expected to surge, with numerous dead likely to be young children too weak to swim through the churning water. Some used inflated plastic bags and UNHCR tarpaulins as makeshift flotation devices.

Entire new towns of shanties have sprung up across the area.

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