Myanmar ceasefire ending as Rohingya activists call for peace

Bangladesh Wants Return of Rohingya Refugees to Myanmar as Soon as Possible

Rights groups say more than half of more than 400 Rohingya villages in the north of Rakhine state have been torched in a campaign by the security forces and Buddhist vigilantes to drive out Muslims.

Myanmar's government spokesman did not respond to requests for comment yesterday but has previously said the country does not "negotiate with terrorists". The refugee crisis erupted after ARSA raids on Myanmar police posts on August 25 prompted a brutal military backlash.

Hard-pressed to find space for a massive influx of Rohingya Muslim refugees, Bangladesh plans to chop down forest trees to extend a tent city sheltering destitute families fleeing ethnic violence in neighboring Myanmar.

Their figure includes the 515,000 who have arrived since August, more than 300,000 Rohingya who were already in Bangladesh, having fled earlier suppression, a contingency for another 91,000 and 300,000 Bangladesh villagers in so-called host communities who also need help. While the worst of the violence appears to have abated, insecurity, food shortages and tensions with Buddhist neighbours are still driving thousands of Rohingya to make the arduous trek to Bangladesh.

But because of strict laws forbidding citizens of Bangladesh from marrying Rohingya, the couple is on the run.

Hasina said that at one stage after the forced exodus of Rohingyas the Myanmar "pretended like they wanted a war".

Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal is set to visit Myanmar this month to discuss Rohingya repatriation process.

In the squalid refugee settlements sprouting up in Bangladesh, alleged Arsa recruiters say they have enlisted hundreds who are willing to go back to Myanmar to fight.

However, Robert Watkins, the United Nations resident co-ordinator in Dhaka, said overcrowding could heighten the spread of disease, which is already a problem among the refugee population.

But Robert Watkins, the United Nations resident coordinator in Dhaka, said Bangladesh should instead look for new sites to build more camps.

By concentrating too many people in one space, a refugee camp of such size leaves enough scope for deadly diseases to spread like wildfire.

Fire risks in the camps were also highlighted and the coordinator further said that managing one concentrated camp is hard compared to number of different camps.

About 2,000 refugees continue to arrive every day, according to the global Organization for migration (IOM).



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