Rabat – Approximately 480,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since August, in order to escape the threat exerted by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), reported Agence France Press (AFP).
The official number of Rohingya Muslim in Bangladesh has risen from 436,000 to 480,000 due to an estimated 35,000 refugees who had not been accounted for moving into two refugee camps in the country, according to a report issued by the United Nations on Tuesday.
In early September, the flow of refugees into Bangladesh slowed down compared to August. However, hundred arrivals from the Burmese state of Rakhine managed to cross the border on Monday and Tuesday.
“Between the new arrivals and some 300,000 Rohingya who were already living in the area due to previous violence in Myanmar, there are now nearly 800,000 refugees in camps around the Bangladesh border town of Cox’s Bazar that are bursting at the seams,” added AFP.
Authorities and NGOs are concerned about the Rohingya Muslims and their health conditions. Living in camps, the refugees might be affected by numerous diseases as result of unsanitary living conditions, including cholera, dysentery and diarrhea.
Rohingya Muslims are forced to defecate in the open, contaminating sources of drinking water.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), several diseases are threatening refugees in Bangladesh in unplanned sites.
The UNHCR said it is “very concerned that the lack of clean water and unsanitary conditions that prevail in the vast tangle of informal camps and settlements could erupt at any time into a full-blown health crisis.”
The organization added that Bangladesh authorities have reported 5,181 cases of diarrhea since they began arriving to country in late August. UNHCR continued that “Bangladesh reported 10,846 cases of respiratory problems, and 3,422 cases of skin diseases among newly arrived refugees – although the real number seems likely far higher.”
On August 25, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) unleashed a wave of repression against nearly 300,000 members of the Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, out of the total population of approximately 1 million. During the clash, about 400 people were killed, according to government figures. The UN, however, said that this number is low, putting their estimate at about 87,