Dhaka, Sep 5 (IANS) At least 123,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, a UN official said here on Tuesday.
Joseph Surjamoni Tripura, the UNHCR spokesperson in Bangladesh, told Efe news agency that the recently arrived refugees — more than 30,000 arrived in a 24 hour period — are staying in makeshift camps.
According to UN sources, only 6,000, out of the 123,000, are staying with family members in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district.
The influx of Rohingyas, who are denied citizenship by Myanmar and sparingly given refugee status by Bangladesh, had accelerated earlier on Tuesday.
In the Teknaf area, boats continue to arrive with Rohingya refugees reaching the coast through the Bay of Bengal, reports Efe news.
Unlike in land border crossings like Ghum Dhum, local authorities in Teknaf did not try to stop the influx, despite border guards on Monday sending back more than 2,000 Rohingyas from the Saint Martin island.
The latest exodus began on August 25, after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in Rakhine leading to a violent offensive by the Myanmar Army.
Meanwhile international pressure is mounting on Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to stop the alleged human rights violations against the Rohingyas.
Suu Kyi has been urged to condemn the incidents by many international activists, including Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai who has made a public appeal to stop the violence.
An estimated one million Rohingyas live in Rakhine, where the Myanmar Army carried out a similar campaign nine months ago in response to another rebel attack that led to more than 70,000 members of the community fleeing across the border to Bangladesh.
Between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingyas live in Bangladesh, and only about 32,000 of them have refugee status and live in camps in Cox’s Bazar.