Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

India to extend assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

India to extend assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

MUSLIM nations have demanded that the United Nations take urgent action to stop the "genocide" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, as nearly 400,000 have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh from a crackdown by the military.

The figure - amounting to about 60% of an estimated 391,000 Rohingya refugees - includes about 36,000 children under a year old, said Unicef spokeswoman Marixie Mercado. After that, they have been on their own, according to a BBC report.

"It's reaching a new proportion every day".

Ms Mercado said: "As everybody here is going to tell you, the needs are seemingly endless and the suffering is deepening".

Guterres said many women and children were arriving in Bangladesh "hungry and malnourished".

"Was it because the parents put them forward for the crossing, or was it something else?" he asked.

Since August 25, the number of Rohingya refugees who have crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh has now reached 389,000, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to the UN Secretary General told reporters at the UN headquarters in NY. "I think nobody wants to see a return to military rule in Burma, nobody wants to see a return of the generals", he said. At the same time, both India and China are "competing for Myanmar's attention", Rossow, who is also Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at the CSIS, said.

Bangladesh is also growing hostile to the Rohingya, more than 400,000 of whom live there after fleeing Myanmar since the early 1990s. That number has now tripled to almost 380,000 and people are arriving hungry and malnourished and finding shelter in makeshift settlements or with host communities.

He said the Nobel laureate, who has been pilloried by rights groups for failing to speak up for the Rohingya minority, would skip the United Nations General Assembly next week to tackle the crisis unfurling at home.

"India stands ready to provide any assistance required by the government of Bangladesh in this hour of need", the statement said.

The humanitarian community has this week launched a $77 million United States dollars appeal to aid some of the stateless refugees for the next three months.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan visited Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar, on Friday (Sept 15) and met Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize victor garlanded for her dignified and defiant democracy activism under Myanmar's former junta, was once the darling of the global community.

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