March 18 2018

Korea to provide humanitarian aid for Myanmar refugees

March 18 2018, 05:06 | Irvin Gilbert

Korea to provide humanitarian aid for Myanmar refugees

Korea to provide humanitarian aid for Myanmar refugees

ICRC spokeswoman Graziella Leite Piccoli confirmed to the BBC that there had been an incident, but could not confirm other details.

"We are checking out these reports and an alert has been sounded, so that no untoward incident happens during the Pujas or after", said the senior Bangladeshi official.

The aid shipment was bound for the north of the Rakhine State where insurgent attacks on August 25 sparked a military backlash. Aid organisations and refugees have claimed the military attacked Rohingyas, committed sexual violence against them and burned down their homes.

There has been widespread condemnation of the Myanmar military and government amid accusations of crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing.

India said Thursday that Rohingya Muslims living in the country are not refugees but illegal immigrants from Myanmar, indicating that it could deport them.

Animosity between Buddhists in Rakhine state and the Rohingya goes back generations, but has seethed in recent years, fueled in part by a surge of Buddhist nationalism since almost five decades of strict military rule came to an end.

The rapid influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees has strained resources and overwhelmed humanitarian agencies and local authorities.

Eight people were detained.

Food, water and shelter are desperately needed for the new arrivals, aid groups say, but there are also serious concerns for those who stayed in Rakhine, where many Rohingya villages have been razed.

"We are explaining to the community members who approached the boats about the activities of the Red Cross", said Maria Cecilia Goin, a communications officer at the ICRC Yangon.

The government of the predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million said police and several monks showed up to try to defuse tensions.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was condemned early on in the crisis after photos of World Food Programme (WFP) food packages were shared on her office's Facebook page after apparently being seized from the Rohingya militants.

India is considering supplying arms to Myanmar's government in a sign of strong support for a neighbour that faces criticism for its crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

"It is really a great challenge for us", he said.

In an address to Burma and the worldwide community on Tuesday, State Counsellor Suu Kyi professed that "Myanmar does not fear global scrutiny" and repeatedly invited "friends" who "wish Myanmar well" to visit the country and help its process of democratisation and peacebuilding. "It's necessary to have control of our region with our national races", Min Aung Hlaing said.

He told ABC's 7.30 program Australia provided settlement packages for refugees in Australian-run detention centres to return to their country of origin, and some regions of Myanmar would be safe to return to, but he would not comment on "individual cases".

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