UN: 36,000 Rohingya babies arrive in Bangladesh


The UN on Friday warned there was "no sign of the flow of people drying up" after around 400,000 Rohingya Muslims -- including 36,000 babies -- fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh.

Regional countries and Turkey were also described as "racing against the clock" to bring lifesaving assistance to Rohingya Muslims.

"There is no sign of the flow of people drying up, as smoke from burning villages in Myanmar's North Rakhine State remains clearly visible from the Cox's Bazar district," said Joel Millman of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.

"The government of Bangladesh, foreign governments -- including Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia -- and aid agencies on the ground are now racing against the clock to bring in the lifesaving food, shelter, water, sanitation, health and other services that the new arrivals need," Millman added.

Millman told Anadolu Agency that Muslim countries were among the first to provide aid to these vulnerable refugees in Bangladesh. UNCHR spokesman Andrej Mahecic described the catastrophe in Myanmar as one of the fastest refugee crises in recent years.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said 36,000 Rohingya babies below one year old and 92,000 children below the age of five had arrived in Bangladesh.

Since Aug. 25, up to 400,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which Myanmar forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will raise the issue at the UN.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including those of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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