YANGON: The UN has called for calm after several Rohingya Muslims were shot and wounded in a Rakhine state camp, in a raid linked to the failed escape of more than 100 of the stateless minority from the grim settlements.
Some 120,000 Rohingya have languished in displacement camps near Rakhine’s capital, Sittwe, since riots in 2012.
Their movement, access to healthcare, work and education is severely restricted in conditions decried as amounting to apartheid by Amnesty International.
Rohingya refugees who fled a military crackdown to Bangladesh refuse to return to Rakhine without equal rights, citizenship and safety — fearing similiar long-term confinement if they do.
Villagers told AFP that four Rohingya were shot and wounded as Myanmar police entered the Ah Nauk Ye camp in central Rakhine state’s Pauktaw township on Sunday morning.
In an emailed statement Knut Ostby, head of the UN office in Myanmar, called for “calm, non-violence and restraint” in an area which can be accessed only with official permission — but is believed to suffer from some of the worst conditions in the displacement camps.
One witness said that officers were trying to arrest two Rohingya suspected of links with a boat carrying 106 Rohingya that was found last week off the coast of Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon.
The discovery fuelled speculation of a fresh exodus of Rohingya by boat.