The UN has announced that it is on “full alert” for a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims as reports show a sharp spike of them fleeing Myanmar.
“We’re back in a situation of full alert as far as influxes are concerned. It is a big increase to see 11,000,” said the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Adrian Edwards, on Tuesday.
Myanmar’s army renewed its bloody crackdown on the ethnic minority population in August, with numerous documented incidents of massacre and rape of Muslim men and women.
Authorities in Myanmar, led by de facto leader Aug San Suu Kyi, have been tightly controlling access to Rakhine since August, when purported attacks by Rohingya fighters prompted a brutal military response that has forced over 515,000 Rohingya to flee for Bangladesh. The crackdown, backed by radical Buddhist monks, has left scores of Rohingya villages torched and completely destroyed.
“We have had big numbers coming across by the day over the six weeks of this emergency. So we are back up to approaching some of those peak arrivals. Clearly we have to be prepared for more arrivals,” Edwards added.