Thousands more Rohingya refugees streamed across the border from Rakhine state in Myanmar into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on Monday as the Burmese military and paramilitary ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaign continues.
“We couldn’t step out of the house for the last month because the military were looting people,” Mohammad Shoaib, 29, told Reuters. “They started firing on the village. So we escaped into another.”
“Day by day, things kept getting worse, so we started moving towards Bangladesh. Before we left, I went back near my village to see my house, and the entire village was burnt down,” Shoaib added.
So far, a total of 582,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since an outbreak of violence on August 25, reports Reuters.
A boat carrying refugees along the Naf River sank at dawn on Monday, en route to camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, killing at least 12 and leaving 35 missing.
“So far 12 bodies, including six children and four women, have been recovered,” said police official Moinuddin Khan, as cited by Reuters.
The Myanmar military denies allegations of ethnic cleansing and weaponized sexual assault, claiming that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who attacked police checkpoints in August are a terrorist organization.
The European Union suspended invitations to Myanmar military personnel on Monday, including its commander-in-chief “in the light of the disproportionate use of force carried out by the security forces,” adding that “credible allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses” will be thoroughly investigated.