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Boats carrying fleeing Rohingya sink in Bangladesh; 26 dead

02 September 2017

In the wake of the report, Aung San Suu Kyi has accused worldwide aid workers of helping "terrorists" in the region. They face severe persecution, with the government refusing to recognize them as a legitimate native ethnic minority, leaving them without citizenship and basic rights. About 1.1 million Rohingya live in apartheid-like conditions in northern Rakhine. Even as they flee the violence in Myanmar, they are not likely to be welcome elsewhere.

The influx has come despite Bangladeshi authorities toughening border patrols in a bid to prevent more refugees from entering a country that already hosts an estimated 400,000 Rohingya refugees.

Around 400 people are reported to have died in communal violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state that started on August 25 after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts. The government used a militant attack on border guards back then as the pretext to enforce the blockade.

Media access is strictly curtailed in Rakhine, so it's hard to obtain clear accounts of what's taking place. Thousands of people have been the victims of these clashes in recent years. Others report rapes and beatings carried out by the Burmese army, which has reportedly set fire to thousands of Rohingya homes as it seeks to flush out the militants. Her words were deemed "profoundly irresponsible" by Human Rights Watch. The statement said all but 29 of the 399 dead were insurgents, whom it described as terrorists.

Eighteen bodies washed ashore in Bangladesh yesterday, a border official said, lifting the toll over the last two days to 41. About 20,000 more Rohingya attempting to flee are stuck at the border. The affliction of statelessness in an era of the modern nation-states means that the Rohingya are barred from the privilege of state education and are often the target of violence.

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Global human rights organizations have condemned the violence.

The principle of non-refoulement - or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger - is considered part of customary global law and is binding on all states whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not.

Five people were killed in front of his house, he said. "The military is the only one that can give a lesson to tame the Bengali terrorists". State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi strongly condemned the attacks. She has been accused for not speaking out for the persecuted minority. The Parliament chose to not amend the law just last week.

"The current situation underlines the urgency of seeking holistic approaches to addressing the complex root causes of violence", the spokesperson said, reiterating the need to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "That will not stop those who resent all Muslim groups and grievances from characterising it as such", wrote the Crisis Group, warning of further polarisation.

Bangladesh has recently stopped thousands of Rohingyas on the border, saying it is no longer capable of hosting the refugees.

Boats carrying fleeing Rohingya sink in Bangladesh; 26 dead