Bangladesh Turns Away Rohingya Fleeing New Myanmar Violence
Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims have been pushed back on the Bangladeshi border after trying to flee a new outbreak of violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
Bangladesh, which already hosts around 400,000 Rohingya refugees from previous waves of violence and persecution, said it would not allow any more to come.
A Bangladeshi border guard official told the Associated Press that his forces cordoned off around 1,000 Rohingya in a no-man’s land near one crossing to prevent them from entering.
At the border, Reuters saw border guards pushing back refugees who ran toward the crossing amid the sound of gunfire. “How can we go back there? Just to get killed?” Mujibur Raham, a Rohingya refugee, told the news agency.
The U.N. refugee agency told Reuters around 3,000 people had managed to cross into Bangladesh in recent days.
Violence erupted in Rakhine after an insurgent group calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks on around 30 police posts and an army base on Aug. 24. The government said it was evacuating thousands of non-Muslims from the area.
After a similar but smaller attack last October, the ensuing military crackdown prompted around 75,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, many reporting mass killings, rape and the razing of communities.
Rohingya advocates warned of a renewed military crackdown after the new attacks. Journalists are prevented from accessing the area, and the U.N. and international aid agencies have withdrawn some of their staff.
U.N. Cuts Food Rations for Refugees in Tanzania Due to Lack of Funds
The U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) has cut food rations to 320,000 refugees in northwest Tanzania, citing lack of funding.
The refugees, most of whom are from Burundi and Congo, are now receiving only 62 percent of the recommended daily intake of 2,100 kilocalories. The U.N. warned of further ration cuts if WFP does not receive $23.6 million for food aid in the area through December.
Some 240,000 Burundians sought refuge in Tanzania after a 2015 political crisis. The governments of Tanzania and Burundi are now calling for Burundian refugees to return home, but human rights groups note that continued repression is still causing people to flee the country.
Thousands March in Rome to Protest Refugee Eviction
Thousands of migrants and Italians marched through Rome on Aug. 26 to protest the eviction of hundreds of asylum seekers from a building in the capital last week.
They carried banners saying “refugees not terrorists” and urged the government to find proper housing for refugees.
Around 800 people, mainly Eritreans and Ethiopians, were evicted from an office block they had squatted for years last week, with scenes of police violence that prompted the U.N. to register its concern.
Rome’s city council later agreed to allow a group of 40 elderly, sick and young refugees to return to the building for six months, the Guardian reported. Local media said the Italian interior ministry will propose new guidelines to ensure that vulnerable people who are evicted are provided with alternative accommodation in the future.
- The Washington Post: The Chosen
- Al Jazeera: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Live in Fear After Arsal
- Scoundrel Time: Factory Men: Migrants in Patras, Greece
- Time: Hate, Hope and Swimming Lessons
- The New York Times: Syrian Dancer Flying, Looking for Freedom (Landing in Amsterdam)