Killing by Hunger: Rohingya Muslims starved after Cyclone Mocha in Rakhine state, UN denied access: Myanmar

Not known for fair governance, either the present military regime nor the eatlier Aung Sang Sui led democratic one, the country’s Rohingyas are suffering a slow genocide
Image: Reuters

News reports reveal that days after powerful Cyclone Mocha ripped through the Bay of Bengal, bodies of Rohingya Muslims are piling up in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, families and aid agencies have said. Meanwhile the UN has stated that it was denied access to Rohingya refugee camps after Cyclone Mocha.

UNHCR added that the Myanmar government has refused to allow it to distribute health supplies in Sittwe, where an estimated 90% of Rohingya homes have been destroyed. The country’s military government has admitted that the death toll had surpassed 145, but residents say that in actuality, it is much higher.

Thousands of Rohingya, a persecuted minority in Myanmar, live in squalid camps for the displaced and impoverished villages near the port town of Sittwe. This is known as the Rakhine state. People living in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, said they estimated that about 90% of homes of Rohingya people had been destroyed and more than 100 people killed when winds of more than 150 miles an hourhit the region. However, the refugee agency UNHCR said the Myanmar government has refused access to the camps in Sittwe, home to about 100,000 people. “As yet, UNHCR has not been granted access to carry out needs assessments.”

The region has been rocked by decades of ethnic conflict, with the country’s Buddhist majority accused of carrying out armed attacks and serious human rights breaches against the Rohingya. The United Nation has dubbed this a Genocide.

Cyclone Mocha made landfall near Sittwe in Rakhine state on May 14, whipping up heavy rains and wind speeds of up to 209kph in Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh.

One of the most powerful cyclones in a decade, Mocha wreaked havoc in the port town destroying bridges, uprooting trees and tearing roofs off buildings. Thousands of flimsy Rohingya shelters were washed away.

“It is like someone dropped a bomb on us from above. Ninety per cent of the houses are flattened,” Sadak Hussein, 28, a Rohingya, told the news media.


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