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07 October 2017, 12:40 | Marta Robbins
Fleeing for their lives
The United Nations (UN) has slammed Myanmar's refusal to grant humanitarian access to Rakhine State as "unacceptable", saying the flight of terror-hit Rohingya Muslims out of the region continues.
"The Rohingya have faced decades of persecution and targeted violence in Myanmar, but the recent attacks that began just over a month ago are of an entirely new scale and level of inhumanity", Refugees International President Eric Schwartz.
The Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and most are stateless, but authorities reject any suggestion of ethnic cleansing.
"This flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet, it's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya (who are) still in Myanmar, we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus", said the UN's under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Mark Lowcock, in a Friday press briefing in Geneva.
The violence, backed by radical Buddhist monks, has left scores of Rohingya villages torched and completely destroyed.
Cox's Bazar's Civil Surgeon Sheikh Abdus Salam, meanwhile, said though the country earlier almost eradicated several risky diseases, those could return with the Rohingya influx from Myanmar's Rakhine state.
Aid agencies have warned of a malnutrition crisis with about 281,000 people in Bangladesh in urgent need of food, including 145,000 children under five and more than 50,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women.
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