Myanmar prepared to clear out Rohingyas before rebel attacks: Bangladesh


The vessel sank near Shah Porir Dwip on the Naf River late on Sunday, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bangladesh.

12 Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing Myanmar army violence in Rakhine State, died as their boat capsized off coast of Bangladesh Monday.

About 519,000 Rohingya have crossed the border since August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts in Rakhine state sparked a ferocious military response.

The refugees accuse Myanmar's army - flanked by mobs of ethnic Rakhine - of slaughtering them and burning their villages in a campaign which the United Nations says amounts to "ethnic cleansing".

Mostly Buddhist Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, even though many have lived there for generations.

Numerous villages near Buthidaung municipality in Rakhine state have not received humanitarian assistance since the military crackdown in late August, the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) said.

"She never asked for the Nobel Peace Prize", he said, responding to calls from some corners that she be stripped of the title.

It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees. Their boat had been carrying between 60 and 100 people and was crossing the Bay of Bengal when it capsized.

A senior police officer said they have stepped up surveillance in the camps to stop any such marriages and to combat trafficking of refugee girls or children, many of whom fled to Bangladesh unaccompanied by parents.

"We deeply regret the reaction from worldwide countries based on the news without truth", said the lawmaker. After waves of violence in the past five years, about 1 million Rohingya have been forced to move to Bangladesh.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday launched a oral cholera vaccination campaign at camps inhabited by the Rohingyas in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar to protect the community members from the infection.

Gangs of boat owners, crew and fishermen have been charging the fleeing Rohingya upwards of $250 for the two-hour journey that normally costs no more than $5.