Epidemiological surveys carried out by MSF in refugee camps in Bangladesh estimate that at least 9,000 Rohingyas died in Myanmar, Rakhine State, between 25 August and 24 September, and at least 6,700 among them were killed, including 730 children under five.
The results of the MSF studies provide tangible evidence of the large-scale violence that targeted the Rohingya from 25 August when the Burmese army, police and local militias launched operations in response to attacks by the government. Salvation Army of the Rohingya of Arakan. Since then, more than 647,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh. “We spoke to people who have escaped violence in Myanmar, and who have now found shelter in overcrowded and unhealthy camps in Bangladesh,” said Dr. Sidney Wong, MSF’s Medical Director. The scale and nature of the violence we have uncovered is appalling.
The peak of deaths as reported by the refugees during the investigation coincides with the launch of operations by Myanmar security forces in the last week of August. ” In early November, MSF conducted six retrospective mortality studies in different parts of refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, just across the border with Myanmar. The total population of the areas covered by the studies was 608,108, of whom 503,698 had fled Myanmar after 25 August. The overall mortality rate between August 25 and September 24 in the families studied was 8.0 / 10,000 people per day. This is equivalent to the death of 2.26% (between 1.87% and 2.73%) of the sample population. If this ratio is applied to the total population arriving since August 25 in the camps covered by the studies, it appears that between 9,425 and 13,759 Rohingyas died during the 31 days following the beginning of the violence, including at least 1,000 children under five. Studies show that at least 71.7% of these deaths are due to violence, including among children under five. This represents at least 6,700 people, including 730 children. 69% of the deaths due to violence were caused by shots, 9% by fatal burns, 5% by beatings. Of children under five, more than 59% of those killed during this period were shot dead, 15% suffered fatal burns, 7% were beaten to death and 2% were killed by explosions. mines.
“Death numbers are likely underestimated because we have not surveyed all refugee camps in Bangladesh and studies do not include families who have never been able to get out of Myanmar,” says Dr. Wong. . We have heard people say that entire families were killed after the armed forces locked them in their homes before setting them on fire. ” “People are still fleeing Myanmar to Bangladesh and those who manage to cross the border say they have been abused in recent weeks,” said Dr. Wong.
As very few independent aid agencies can access Maungdaw District in Rakhine State, we fear for the fate of the Rohingya who are still there. ” In these circumstances, the recent agreement between the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar on the repatriation of the Rohingya appears premature. There is no guarantee today that the Rohingya will not be exposed to targeted violence and serious violations of their rights again if they are to be returned to Myanmar.