UN says 480,000 in latest Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh

Rohingya Muslim refugees wait as food is distributed by the Bangladeshi army at Balukhali refugee camp near Gumdhum on September 26, 2017
AFP

Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh) (AFP) – Some 480,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Myanmar on August 25, the United Nations said Tuesday, increasing its estimate by 45,000 in two days.

A report by UN agencies and international charities said the change was due largely to an estimated 35,000 Rohingya, who had not previously been accounted for, moving into two refugee camps. 

It also said numbers crossing the border had started to rise again. The UN gave a figure of more than 435,000 Rohingya arrivals on Saturday. 

After reporting a significant fall in arrivals last week the new report said hundreds had been crossing the border daily in recent days.

A 2,000 acre (eight square kilometer) space near existing camps has been set aside to house the new arrivals but no facilities have yet been built.

Attacks by Rohingya militants in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25 sparked a military backlash and the exodus across the border to Bangladesh.

Refugee camps and makeshift settlements on the Bangladesh side of the border already hosted some 300,000 Rohingya before the latest violence, and are now completely overwhelmed.

Those flocking into Bangladesh have made harrowing allegations of murder, rape and widespread arson in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar.

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