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Bangladesh PM says government will continue to help Rohingya

Bangladesh PM says government will continue to help Rohingya

Myanmar has tightly controlled access to the state since last month when attacks by Rohingya militants prompted an army kickback that has sent 515,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) did not comment on the action it would take after the ceasefire ends Monday, but continued to affirm that it was "determined to stop the tyranny and oppression" facing the Rohingya people.

Dhaka: Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government was very cautious and did not respond to any provocations by Myanmar, thereby defusing tensions between the two neighbours in the wake of a mass exodus of Rohingyas from Rakhine State.

"If at any stage the Burmese government is inclined to peace, then Arsa will welcome that inclination and reciprocate".

Worldwide aid agencies say some 515,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh in six weeks since the end of August and the United Nations said it was bracing for a possible "further exodus".

More than 500,000 Rohingya have crossed over to Bangladesh since late August.

But this is disputed by Rohingya refugees, who say the military and Rakhine Buddhists are setting their villages alight to drive them out after attacks by Rohingya Muslim militants on police posts.

The United Nations has denounced the Myanmar military offensive as ethnic cleansing but Myanmar insists its forces are fighting "terrorists" who have killed civilians and burnt villages.

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The Rohingya muslims are one of the minorities of Burma, a majority buddhist.

Bangladesh plans to build the camp on 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of land next to a refugee camp at Kutupalong near the border town of Cox's Bazar.

The Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and most are stateless.

Khan said Bangladesh wants to "send back all Rohingya to Myanmar successfully".

However, Robert Watkins, the United Nations resident co-ordinator in Dhaka, said overcrowding could heighten the spread of disease, which is already a problem among the refugee population.

"There are stronger possibilities, if there are any infectious diseases that spread, that will spread very quickly", he added, also highlighting fire risks.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says the proposed camp will be the world's largest and much more extensive than Bidi Bidi in Uganda and Dadaab in Kenya, both of them home to around 300,000 refugees.

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