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Over half million Rohingya fled Myanmar, 2000 per day, says UN


Rohingya Muslim's traveled 12 miles through jungles to the Myanmar border to Bangladesh, fleeing the ethnic cleansing due to Burma not recognizing them as an ethnic group in the Rakhine state and claiming that they are living in the country illegally, reported the Independent.

When asked why he doesn't use the term ethnic cleansing, Murphy called the situation in Myanmar a "human tragedy".

Under that agreement almost a quarter of a million people were repatriated from Bangladesh to Myanmar between the early 1990s and 2005, he said.

"This flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet, it's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who are still in Myanmar, we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus", Lowcock told a news briefing in Geneva.

Lowcock said a senior United Nations official was expected to visit Myanmar in the next few days.

The Rohingya Muslims are not recognized as citizens by Myanmar and are largely seen as illegal immigrants originating from Bangladesh.

Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross to the southeast Bangladeshi port of Cox's Bazar from Myanmar's Rakhine state, the International Organisation for Migration said, citing staff members monitoring the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

The official Myanmar News Agency said on Friday "large numbers" of Muslims were preparing to cross the border.

UN-led aid bodies have appealed for $434 million over six months to help up to 1.2 million people - including 300,000 Rohingya already in Bangladesh before the latest crisis and 300,000 Bangladeshi villagers in so-called host communities.

Bangladesh still plans to expand a massive settlement in the south to accommodate almost the 900,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees that have streamed into the country from Myanmar.

Lowcock said talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh on a repatriation plan were a useful first step.

Both the United States and Britain have warned Myanmar the crisis is putting at risk the progress it has made since the military began to loosen its grip on power. They all look forward to go back.

"We don't want to take actions that exacerbate their suffering".

"It is very important that we get reporters on the ground, that we get USAID on the ground", Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday. "It is the responsibility of the State not to allow it to happen", the Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary said, even as he explained how concerns over security, radicalisation et al should not come in the way of dealing with it what is fundamentally a humanitarian issue.

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