Bangladesh's giant refugee camp plan 'dangerous', says United Nations official

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) did not say what action it would take after the ceasefire ends at midnight on Monday, but it was "determined to stop the tyranny and oppression" waged against the Rohingya people.

"If, at any stage, the burmese government is open to peace, then the ARSA will be welcome and will act in reciprocity ".

But when the ARSA announced the ceasefire from September 10, a government spokesman said: "We have no policy to negotiate with terrorists".

The refugee crisis erupted after ARSA raids on Myanmar police posts on August 25.

This has been stated by the United Nations humanitarian aid chief Mark Lowcock six weeks after the world's fastest-developing refugee emergency began. The military and their Buddhist cohorts killed Muslims and burnt their homes down.

Myanmar authorities have cut off access to the conflict zone, making it hard to verify claims over who is driving the communal bloodshed that has intensified already bitter ethnic hatreds.

Asaduzzaman Khan also refuted a media report that claimed 22 Rohingya posing as refugees had been arrested in Bangladesh for their alleged role in the massacre of Rohingya Hindus.

"This crisis isn't going to end soon", said a Bangladeshi interior ministry official who declined to be identified.

Rights groups say satellite data provides evidence of a systematic "scorched earth" campaign targeting Rohingya villages - an act the United Nations says is tantamount to "ethnic cleansing".

Her government would continue to support them with food and shelter.

Ms Hasina accused Burma of creating tensions at the border, but said she has asked the country's security forces to deal with the crisis "very carefully".

Myanmar denies the Rohingya citizenship, describing them as "Bengali" interlopers.

Their figure includes the 515,000 who have arrived since August, more than 300,000 Rohingya who were already in Bangladesh, having fled earlier suppression, a contingency for another 91,000 and 300,000 Bangladesh villagers in so-called host communities who also need help. An equal number had previously fled Myanmar since 1978.

Hard-pressed Bangladesh authorities plan to expand a refugee camp at Kutupalong near the border town of Cox's Bazar to accommodate all the Rohingya.

Bangladesh had then said it would call the global community for a verification process supervised by the UN.

By concentrating too many people in one space, a refugee camp of such size leaves enough scope for deadly diseases to spread like wildfire.

Watkins said there would be a huge risk of fire spreading easily across a big camp of refugees, adding that Bangladesh should instead look for new sites to build more camps.

An estimated 2,000 Rohingyas are arriving in Bangladesh a day, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

  • Rogelio Becker