Drone footage showcases how Rohingyas are fleeing from Myanmar to Bangladesh
Dhaka, Oct 18: The mammoth Rohingya refugee crisis, which continues to witness thousands of the minority Muslims from the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar fleeing to Bangladesh on a daily basis, has been captured by a drone footage shot by the officials of the United Nations (UN).
The drone footage showcases how thousands of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing large-scale violence and persecution in Myanmar and crossing into Bangladesh to save their lives.
Already more than half a million Rohingyas are living in squalid and overcrowded camps in Bangladesh to escape large-scale violence in their homeland.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) video shot on Monday shows thousands upon thousands of Rohingya Muslims trudging along a narrow strip of land alongside what appears to a rain-swollen creek in the Palong Khali area in southern Bangladesh. The line of refugees in the footage stretches for a few kilometers.
Witnesses say that a new wave of refugees started crossing the border over the weekend. An Associated Press photographer saw thousands of newcomers stretching for several kilometers near one border crossing on Tuesday.
Watch the video below:
Several said that they were stopped by Bangladeshi border guards and spent the night in muddy rice fields. Local government administrator Mohammad Mikaruzzman in Bangladesh said on Tuesday that he heard that some 20,000 people have arrived since Sunday crossing the border on foot or by boat at several points.
According to the UN, at least 582,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar on August 25.
The exodus has continued, with a few small breaks, over the last eight weeks. The new arrivals, almost all terrified and starving, have described scenes of incredible violence with army troops and mobs of Buddhist locals attacking Rohingya homes.
The UN has described the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state as "textbook ethnic cleansing." More recent refugees have also said the Rohingya were being starved in a bid to make them leave.
A woman who spoke to Associated Press on Tuesday after her arrival in Bangladesh said they had no food to eat.
"We came here two nights ago with lot of difficulties. It took us eight days to reach here," said Anjuma, who gave just one name.
Meanwhile, at a time when security agencies are casting aspersions on Rohingya refugees, citing their possible links with terror outfits, a senior official from Bangladesh stated that the refugees "can't be termed as terrorists".
"60 per cent refugees (Rohingyas) are ladies, children and elderly. With such a huge population, they can't be termed as terrorists," Bangladesh's High Commissioner to India, Syed Muazzem Ali, told reporters at Foreign Correspondents' Club in Delhi on Monday.