By Tien Phan
As of October 2018, more than 90 percent of Myanmar’s Rohingya population has fled to Bangladesh in search of a safer life, reports Aljazeera. Since violence broke out over a year ago, roughly 700,000 individuals have crossed over Bangladesh’s Southeastern border. With a small portion settling in Bangladesh beforehand, the total number now exceeds 960,000 refugees.
According to Human Rights Watch, Myanmar’s authorities have continuously brutalized Rohingya refugees. This has occurred in the form of extreme discrimination and police brutality. In addition, widespread sexual violence has slowly become a norm in this conflict.
The life of Rohingya refugees has improved in recent times. Specifically, resource sharing between Bangladeshis and Rohingyas has mitigated the issue of water scarcity inside refugee camps. This sharing has proven both moral and effective, reports Euronews.
Despite the current peaceful environment between these groups, the massive influx of refugees is beginning to put pressure on Bangladesh. Speaking to Euronews, European Union (EU) Humanitarian Aid, Pierre Prakash, stated that there are twice as many refugees as there are locals. Recently, there have been mysterious killings of Rohingya in these camps, which has forced the Bangladeshi government to deploy police to counter this unexpected tragedy. Prakash continued by stating that, Bangladesh’s government must adjust to this reality to distribute resources effectively.
The Bangladeshi government is now coordinating with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in an effort to resettle the refugees in Myanmar, reports Reuters. As almost all the Rohingya population is considered “stateless,” a registration program is currently developing to detail information on the refugees and aid in the ultimate reparation process. Nonetheless, many have questioned the safety of the refugees if they were to return to Myanmar.
Though some humanitarian needs have been provided to the Rohingya community, there is still more to be done. Rohingya refugees still lack basic human rights, and a formal explanation from Myanmar’s government is still pending.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has urged India to contribute more to the crisis, because of its close relations with both Myanmar and Bangladesh, reports The Daily Star. Mr. Guterres emphasized, “There should be accountability to those crimes. To keep a population in such a discriminatory situation is an invitation for terrorist groups.”