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Bangladesh PM says government will continue to help Rohingya

AP  |  Dhaka 

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her would continue to support nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighbouring Myanmar to escape violence. Hasina said the was pursuing a plan to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya on an island with the help of international aid agencies whom she praised for their support. She made the statement at Dhaka airport on her return from New York after attending the UN General Assembly session. The UN has described the violence in Myanmar as "ethnic cleansing." Hasina accused Myanmar of creating tensions at the border, but said she has asked the country's security forces to deal with the crisis "very carefully." "They pretended like they wanted a war," she said. More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed over to since late August, when Myanmar security forces responded to militant attacks with a broad crackdown that witnesses and rights groups say has included killing and arson. An equal number of Rohingya Muslims have previously fled Myanmar since 1978. Myanmar doesn't recognise the Rohingya as an ethnic group, instead insisting they are Bengali migrants from living illegally in the country.

Myanmar has come under international criticism for failing to stop the recent violence in its Rakhine state and in turn an exodus that has become the largest refugee crisis to hit Asia in decades. The Myanmar government's information committee said in a statement late Thursday that it had stopped 17,000 Rohingya from fleeing in just four days last week. Still villagers say Rohingya are still attempting to leave and many are gathered on the beaches just across the water from waiting for a chance to leave the country. Today, Hasina reiterated that the settlements for Rohingya Muslims would be temporary until they returned to their homes in Myanmar. Her would continue to support them with food and shelter. "If needed, we will eat a full meal once a day and share the rest with them," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 07 2017. 14:22 IST