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The head of the Red Crescent in Bangladesh has described the Rohingya refugee crisis as the “biggest man-made disaster in the world”.
Axar.az reports citing AA that Mohammad Habibe Millat said his country was doing all it could to assist more than 611,000 Rohingya Muslims who have crossed the border from Myanmar since Aug. 25 but that this was “not the permanent solution”.
Speaking at a summit of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) General Assembly in Antalya, southern Turkey, he said: “From Aug. 25, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims, most of them women and children, crossed the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
“This is a biggest manmade disaster in the world. We as government of Bangladesh and Red Crescent Society try to do our best and open our border for them for humanitarian reasons.
“We will do everything to help Rohingya muslims as much as we can, but this is not the permanent solution.”
He said the approaching winter raised fears about the welfare of the refugees housed in makeshift camps along the border.
The refugees have fled a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
Speaking in September, the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali said around 3,000 Rohingya had been killed in the crackdown.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised the issue at the UN.
Millat, who is also a Bangladeshi lawmaker, praised First Lady Emine Erdogan for her visit to the camps in September.
- Permanent solution
“I want to thank her as the first high-level person to visit the camps. One of the refugee women told in front of the first lady that they’ve been tortured.
“They are lucky to survive and cross the border. Turkey and its institutions work hard to solve this crisis. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s efforts make things little easier, but still we have long way to go.”
He praised the efforts of the IFRC in providing humanitarian aid to the refugees.
“We will continue to support and help the Rohingya Muslims as much as we can but we are low-middle income country. The international community should remember that.
“We thank the government and the people of Turkey for their very kind gesture and we appreciate it.”
Millat called for the world to “speak with the same voice and put pressure on the Myanmar government, that is probably the permanent solution.”
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.
In a report earlier this year, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.
The IFRC General Assembly concludes on Saturday.
2017.11.09 / 12:59