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Thousands displaced in Myanmar due to floods

Over 1,200 households and over 5,000 persons are already suffering from the floods. Medicine, food and aid are needed for their health.

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Floods in Myanmar. Image Source: www.thehindu.com
  • Over 1,200 households and over 5,000 persons are already suffering from the floods. Medicine, food and aid are needed for their health
  • Scores of people affected by the floods in Mandalay and elsewhere in the country have also been relocated to temporary accommodation
  • Rescue efforts continued to limit the damage caused after heavy rains raised the water level of the Irrawaddy River which had passed the danger mark, flooding 16 of 24 villages in Mandalay’s Amarapura township, Efe news reported

Thousands of persons were affected by flooding in Myanmar’s Mandalay region, with many temporarily displaced from their homes, rescue officials said on Wednesday.

Thousands displaced in Myanmar due to floods. Image Source: www.asianews.it
Thousands displaced in Myanmar due to floods. Image Source: www.asianews.it

Rescue efforts continued to limit the damage caused after heavy rains raised the water level of the Irrawaddy River which had passed the danger mark, flooding 16 of 24 villages in Mandalay’s Amarapura township, Efe news reported.

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“Over 1,200 households and over 5,000 persons are already suffering from the floods. Medicine, food and aid are needed for their health,” an official said.

Over 1,200 households are suffering from floods. Image Source: www.plan.org.hk
Over 1,200 households are suffering from floods. Image Source: www.plan.org.hk

Scores of people affected by the floods in Mandalay and elsewhere in the country have also been relocated to temporary accommodation.

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According to data from the Department of Relief and Resettlement, nearly 1,00,000 persons across five regions and one state were relocated because of the flooding. (IANS)

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Report: Conditions in Myanmar Not Safe for Return of Rohingya Refugees

Myanmar has presented Bangladesh with a list of more than 1,200 verified displaced persons who repeatedly expressed their desire to return, he said

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rohingya refugees
FILE - Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, wait in queues to receive aid at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh, Nov. 15, 2017. VOA

Conditions in Myanmar are far too dangerous for the safe, dignified return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to escape violence and persecution in their home country, according to a report by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

More than 730,000 Rohingya refugees are living in squalid, overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar.  While conditions in Bangladesh remain dire, U.N. officials say the situation in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state is worse and far more threatening.

U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore presented the report to the U.N. council. She says Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine state face serious discrimination, and continuous, systematic violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

“We continue to receive and can verify reports from a variety of sources, including reports on sexual and gender-based violence, that human rights violations continue, allegedly committed by members of the security forces,” Gilmore said. “The conditions conducive for refugee return simply do not exist.”

Rohingya refugees
Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, wade past a waterlogged path leading to the Jamtoli refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh. VOA

Security forces attacked and burned Rohingya homes and shops in several townships in May, Gilmore reported. She said her office has received reports of disappearances, and of people being subjected to torture and other forms of abuse in detention.

In addition, she said, Rohingya Muslims are denied basic services to health, education and jobs, and many have been stripped of their property and identity papers, essentially rendering them stateless.

Gilmore called on the Myanmar government to reverse this situation and to end the statelessness of the Rohingya. She said it is unlikely the refugees will return to their place of origin until their citizenship status is recognized.

Reaction in Myanmar

Myanmar’s Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Kyaw Moe Tun, says human rights awareness is promoted throughout his country. He called the U.N. report misleading, incomplete and full of unverified allegations that distort the truth.

Rohingya refugees
Displaced Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine. Wikimedia Commons

The repatriation process must begin as soon as possible to resolve the humanitarian situation, he said, adding that Myanmar has been ready to receive people since January 2018, when his country and Bangladesh signed a repatriation agreement.

ALSO READ: Cutoff of Internet Service at Rakhine, Chin States Creates Difficulty for Civilians who Cannot Access Donors Online to Make Aid Requests

Myanmar has presented Bangladesh with a list of more than 1,200 verified displaced persons who repeatedly expressed their desire to return, he said.

Earlier this year, Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told the U.N. Security Council “not a single Rohingya has volunteered to return to Rakhine due to the absence of conducive environment there.” (VOA)