Bangladesh, which shares a 168-km border with Myanmar, has refused to accept more Rohingya refugees following a military crackdown in the Rakhine State of the neighbouring country.
The crackdown began after nine border police personnel were killed by “insurgents” at three outposts in Rakhine on October 9. Rakhine has an estimated one million Rohingya population who are seen by the Budhist majority as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The Myanmar authorities have confirmed 86 deaths since the crackdown was begun and that 69 of them were suspected militants. Rights groups, however, claim the number is much higher.
According to the UNHCR, about 30,000 people have been displaced by violence. The UN has already urged Bangladesh to open its border. “Rohingya infiltration is an uncomfortable issue for Bangladesh. We don’t want illegal Rohingya immigration,” Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told journalists this week.
The Bangladesh Coast Guard on Sunday prevented over 100 Rohingyas who came on small fishing boats from entering the country. But Myanmar has rejected reports of Rohingyas trying to escape to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh government’s estimates say more than 28,000 registered Rohingyas are already staying at two camps in Cox’s bazaar district, which shares border with Myanmar, in addition to up to 5,00,000 unregistered immigrants from the Rakhine State.