In early November, the MSF conducted six retrospective mortality surveys in different sections of the refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar, just over the border from Myanmar
An estimated 9,000 Rohingya residents of northern Rakhine state died in the first month of the recent Myanmar army crackdown, surveys by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have revealed.
The international NGO, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said around 6,700 of the reported deaths between August 25 and September 24 of 2017 were caused by violence, with at least 730 children below the age of five among the victims.
“We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who have now taken shelter in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh,” MSF Medical Director Dr Sidney Wong said in a press release on Thursday.
“What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member had died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured.”
The MSF survey confirms that the Rohingya have been deliberately targeted and provides the clearest indication yet that thousands of the ethnic minority died in the recent wave of violence.
“The peak in deaths coincides with the launch of the latest ‘clearance operations’ by Myanmar security forces in the last week of August,” Dr Wong said.
Over 647,000 Rohingya refugees have since fled to Bangladesh, according to the Intersector Coordination Group as of December 12.
In early November, the MSF conducted six retrospective mortality surveys in different sections of the refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar, just over the border from Myanmar.
The total population of the areas covered by the surveys was 608,108, of which 503,698 had fled Myanmar since August 25, when the military, police and local militias launched a violent crackdown in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).