Myanmar Rohingya crisis deepens as Bangladesh blocks fleeing refugees

The Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar call Rohingya illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Myanmar Rohingya crisis deepens as Bangladesh blocks fleeing refugees
Rohingya children are seen as they walk near the Kutupalang Refugee Camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir

Thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled Myanmar are being repulsed at the gates of Bangladesh, triggering a humanitarian crisis. Scores have died and around 30,000 people have been displaced in the latest crackdown on the 'stateless' Rohingya people in Myanmar. The fleeing Rohingya are looking for shelter in Bangladesh but Dhaka has unequivocally said it's not accepting the refugees.

Bangladesh has tightened border patrols in the face of the influx of the refugees and has asked Myanmar to take them back. The Daily Star reported that Dhaka is holding a meeting of the foreign envoys on Thursday to explain its stance on the crisis. The government said it is not accepting the fleeing refugees.

"Despite our border guards' sincere effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross the border into Bangladesh ... Thousands more have been reported to be gathering at the border crossing," ," Bangladeshi foreign ministry said.

Citing officials, the daily said the government is denying entry to the Rohingyas crossing into the country from Naf river and the land ports along the Cox's Bazar coastline.

Myanmar's Rohingya crisis has remained unsolved for decades despite international rights agencies raising voice against their suppression in a land where they have lived for generations.

The Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar call Rohingya illegal immigrants from Bangladesh while rights organisations call them one of the world's most persecuted peoples. The 1.1 million stateless Rohingya people in Myanmar say they belong there as their predecessors have lived in the country for generations. Thousands of Rohingya people live in refugee camps, in deplorable conditions.

The latest spurt in the violence against the Rohingya was triggered by an armed militant raid of three Myanmar border posts last month that killed nine officers. Eight assailants were killed in the counter attack by the troops. Clashes continued on the following days, triggering massive exodus of the local people looking for cover within Bangladesh borders. According to Radio Free Asia, the motive of the attack on Myanmar border posts was the Myanmar government's decision to pull down illegally built mosques and other religious buildings in the townships.

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