Monsoons threaten thousands of Rohingya refugees

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The Rohingya people have still been fleeing to Bangladesh from restive Rakhine state of Myanmar and they reside in the areas that are at high risk of landslides and flooding, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

About 8,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh so far this year, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said in a news conference on Friday in Geneva.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, some 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar when Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to the Amnesty International.

At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.

In a report published on Dec. 12, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.

Noting that an estimated 60,000 refugees are currently residing in areas at high risk of landslides and flooding, Mahecic said: "Between 150,000 and 200,000 Rohingya refugees will be at risk this monsoon season. They are living on land prone to landslides and flooding and are in urgent need of relocation."

In March, UNHCR and partners launched the Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis seeking more than $950 million in 2018 to meet the immediate needs of more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and over 330,000 Bangladeshis in communities affected by the crisis.

"As of May, only 16 percent of needed funds have been received," Mahecic noted.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

PHOTO CAPTION

The Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp is seen in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, April 3, 2018. Reuters

Source: Worldbulletin

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