As per data released recently by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 18,000 Rohingya Muslims are estimated to have crossed into Bangladesh in the last week seeking to escape the worst violence in Myanmar’s northwest in at least five years. The IOM said it was difficult to estimate the number of people stranded in the no man’s land at the border between the neighbours, but added there were “hundreds and hundreds” of people stuck there.
A series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state recently and ensuing clashes triggered the exodus, while the government evacuated thousands of Rakhine Buddhists. The United Nations, while condemning the attacks, pressured Myanmar to protect civilian lives without discrimination and appealed to Bangladesh to let those fleeing the military counteroffensive through.
Who are Rohingyas?
The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and regarded as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots there that go back centuries.
International Organization for Migration:
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
- With 166 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.
- IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:
- Migration and development.
- Facilitating migration.
- Regulating migration.
- Forced migration.