Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

United Nations chief presses for release of arrested Reuters journalists in Myanmar

United Nations chief presses for release of arrested Reuters journalists in Myanmar

More than 6,700 Rohingya, including 730 children were killed after violence broke out in Myanmar's Rakhine state late August, according to worldwide medical NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

Bangladeshi officials have known the truth of the matter all this time, and have been striving tirelessly to persuade the United Nations to take tangible measures that go beyond issuing strongly worded resolutions for Myanmar to end the violence.

Myanmar's army has claimed 400 have died since the start of the crisis.

It said the figure arrived at through the field survey, covering the period between August 25 and September 24, includes 750 children below the age of 5. On 25 August 2017, a "clearance operation" launched by Myanmar's Army in repose to an attack by a Rohingya militant group led to the massive violence in the Rakhine State.

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to cooperate on the repatriation of the displaced Rohingya but rights groups have cautioned against any hasty return before peace and stability is restored. However, the MSF cautions the figures are "the most conservative" estimates.

Though more than a million ethnic Rohingya Muslims have lived in the country for generations, they were stripped of their citizenship, denied nearly all rights and labelled stateless.

About 630,000 Rohingya have fled Burma into Bangladesh to escape what the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

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"What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured".

"The numbers of deaths are likely to be an underestimation as we have not surveyed all refugee settlements in Bangladesh and because the surveys don't account for the families who never made it out of Myanmar", Mr Wong said.

According to MSF, 69 percent of the violence-related deaths were caused by gunshots, 9 percent were due to being burnt to death in their houses and 5 percent were beaten to death.

The Health Ministry has sent a field hospital to Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, the General Staff said yesterday.

"Currently people are still fleeing from Myanmar to Bangladesh and those who do manage to cross the border still report being subject to violence in recent weeks", Wong said.

Myanmar's elected civilian government has not been forthcoming with information about Rakhine, nor has it allowed independent monitors to access the state.

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