World Bulletin / News Desk
Bangladesh told three international aid agencies on Thursday not to help thousands of Rohingyas Muslims who have been fleeing into Bangladesh to escape violence in neighbouring Myanmar.
France's Médecins Sans Frontières, British-based Muslim Aid and Action Against Hunger were told about the ban by Joynul Bari, commissioner of the southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar, which he said was meant to discourage illegal migration from strife-torn Myanmar.
Bari said the directive came from Bangladesh's NGO (non-governmental organisation) Affairs Bureau which regulates aid groups.
The charities were not immediately available for comment, but have already faced pressure not to aid a new influx of Rohingyas.
Longstanding tensions between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas boiled over in Myanmar's Rakhine state in early June, resulting in a series of arson and machete attacks in which authorities say 77 people were killed and more than 100 wounded.
Myanmar security forces killed, raped or carried out mass arrests of Rohingyas after the violence started, New York-based Human Rights Watch said, raising questions about the government's ability to manage an ethnically diverse nation emerging from decades strict military rule.
There are at least 800,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar but they are not recognised as one of its ethnic groups.
Majority-Muslim Bangladesh has sought to turn back Rohingyas from entering the country, fearing an exodus from Myanmar, and police on Thursday arrested nine Rohingyas from a hotel in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka.
Nearly 30,000 Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh in the early 1990s to escape persecution by Myanmar's military junta now live in two refugee camps in Cox's Bazar run by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Bangladesh officials said there is a floating population of hundreds of thousands Rohingyas living illegally in Cox's Bazar.
A Cox's Bazar resident told Reuters on Thursday that Rohingyas are still trickling in to Bangladesh by sea and forests along the border, ignoring a warning by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that new refugees will be turned away.
"We can take no more refugees" she told parliament last month.
Mobs of people have burnt down a mosque and looted shops in apparent reprisal for an attack on three Zimbabweans on Tuesday, which left one man dead, while a second man died in hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Former deputy premier and ex-state chief had shared opposition stage to condemn PM and government
Says her new government 'understands we have to create an environment where our people want to return'
Sam Rainsy in self-imposed exile in US after warrant for his arrest issued stemming from years-old defamation case
US President Barack Obama said Mansour was targeted because he was an obstacle to the peace process
Indonesian FM confirms nationals kidnapped by gunmen in latest hijacking of foreign crew in Sulu Sea
800 injured after torrential downpours, hailstorms, tornado batter parts of Yancheng
Mob attacks man accused of building religious school at house’s compound without permission from authorities in Bago region
Torrential downpours, hailstorms and tornado batter parts of city of Yancheng
Boat captain reported to have said gunmen introduced themselves as Abu Sayyaf, demanding $4.9 million for release
India plans to make Hindu refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan citizens by August
Military-backed opposition adds voice to those saying will not use 'Muslim Community in Rakhine State' to describe Rohingya
Abu Kassim Mohamed was head of body probing alleged irregularities involving state wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd
NKorea threatens US, while South Korea warns reclusive neighbor for continued development of nuclear weapons
Cruise ships to bring Chinese tourists to non-militarised areas of disputed South China Sea islands, media reports.
One of Pakistan's most renowned qawwali performers is shot dead by gunmen in the southern port city of Karachi.