Rohingya Muslims killed in one month in Myanmar

Kelvin Reese
December 16, 2017

The global aid group, known by its French acronym MSF, said the survey it conducted in refugee camps in Bangladesh estimated at least 9,000 Rohingya died in Burma's Rakhine state between August 25 and September 24, with 6,700 as a result of the violence.

Myanmar government officials have strongly denied the allegations and blamed ARSA rebels for the violence.

"What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured", MSF Medical Director Sidney Wong said.

The number of people who died in Myanmar's Rakhine state from being shot, burned inside their homes, beaten and other grisly causes between August 25 and September 24 (see table) includes 730 children under age 5, according to MSF.

More than 647,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh since August, MSF says.

Rakhine State has been a focus of global media attention since August because Burmese army operations there have driven more than 620,000 members of Myanmar's Rohingya minority to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar on Friday sought to up pressure on the country's government over the whereabouts of two Reuters journalists who have been held captive for days, according to reports.

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Myanmar's army has claimed 400 have died since the start of the crisis.

He called for aid to be delivered, violence contained and reconciliation promoted in Rakhine State, and for the Rohingyas' right of return to be fully respected and implemented.

They have been stripped of their citizenship, denied nearly all rights, and labelled "stateless". The campaign, launched in August in response to attacks on police outposts, has been condemned by the United Nations as "ethnic cleansing" and those fleeing have described widespread rights abuses by security forces.

Gunshots were the cause of death in most cases. The report states that out of the estimate, "71.7% of the reported deaths were caused by violence".

"The numbers of deaths are likely to be an underestimation as we have not surveyed all refugee settlements in Bangladesh and because the surveys don't account for the families who never made it out of Myanmar", Wong said.

The group also warned there was still very limited access for aid groups into Rakhine state.

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