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Published on December 21st, 2017 | by Georgia Archonti

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Violence Drives Further 1,800 Rohingya Refugees to Cross to Bangladesh as Pope Appeals for Tolerance

In just three months an estimated 624,251 Rohingya refugees have crossed into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, fleeing violence and oppression in Myanmar’s Northern Rakhine State. Of these, over 1,800 have arrived in the past seven days. This brings the total population of Rohingya seeking safety in the district to over 836,000.

“Although the number of people arriving is far lower than the first few weeks of the crisis, hundreds of refugees continue to cross the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar daily,” said Andrew Lind, the UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “People are still arriving in the settlements with horrifying accounts of physical and sexual abuse, harassment and murder. All of them fear for family members left behind in Myanmar,” he added.

A 30-year-old woman, who spoke to IOM on Monday (27/10), as she arrived in Balukhali settlement with her five children, said that she fled her village when it was burned to ground just seven days ago. She said that the people attacking the village were divided into two groups: one, which kidnapped people, and a second, which set villagers’ houses alight. “I saw them kidnap people with my own eyes, but I did not see where they took them,” she said.

After two days hiding in a nearby village, fearing further attacks in the area, she started to make her way to the border with her children. She told IOM that her husband had died several months earlier because they had no access to healthcare in Rakhine State.

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