07/04/2018, 10.04
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UN Secretary: 'The Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are a nightmare'

On July 2nd Antonio Guterres visited the Kutupalong camp: "“I heard heartbreaking accounts from Rohingya refugees that will stay with me forever". Need to relocate at least 200 thousand displaced people to save them from monsoon rains.

Cox's Bazaar (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are a "nightmare" says United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres who visited the Kutupalong settlement in Cox's Bazar district on 2 July.

There he met hundreds of Muslim refugees who have fled from the Burmese State of Rakhine and listened to their stories of violence, abuse and death. At the end of the meetings, he told journalists that he had heard "unimaginable" accounts of atrocities. "Nothing - he added on his Twitter profile - could prepare me for the scale of the crisis and the enormous suffering I saw".

According to the UN leader, the Rohingya refugee drama "is probably one of the most tragic, historic, systematic violations of human rights”, he said. “I heard heartbreaking accounts from Rohingya refugees that will stay with me forever ", he said including those of " women and girls who suffered horrific acts of sexual violence in Myanmar — some now mothers to babies born of rape". Then he wrote: " “Sometimes people tend to forget who is responsible for what happened. So let’s be clear where the responsibility is — it is in Myanmar". At the same time, he added, "it is true that the entire international community has not been able to stop [the emergency]".

The Rohingya (just over a million people) are an ethnic group of Muslim religion originally from Bangladesh; Myanmar, majority Buddhist, does not recognize their citizenship. After the outbreak of the new wave of violence between the Muslim militants of the Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) and the army, about 700 thousand people crossed the border and camped there in makeshift camps. In the camps the sanitary conditions are precarious, for children it is almost impossible to study, and there is a constant risk of humanitarian catastrophes due to bad weather.

Regarding the damage caused by the monsoon rains, long announced and which eventually arrived with their destructive force, Guterres reiterated the need to relocate at least 200 thousand displaced to safer camps. "We cannot allow - he said - monsoons wipe away the hopes of the refugees I have met".

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