COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh – A drone has captured the extent of sprawling camps housing Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence and ethnic cleansing in Burma.
The images, obtained by the Disasters Emergency Committee as part of its charity appeal over the crisis, show Balukhali camp on the Bangladesh border this week.
More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have left the country, with many now staying in makeshift camps like these.
More than 1,000 people may already have been killed in Burma, mostly minority Rohingya Muslims, a senior United Nations representative told AFP.
Described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, Burma’s ethnic-Bengali Muslims, generally known as the Rohingya, are facing a catalog of discrimination in their homeland.
They have been denied citizenship rights since an amendment to the citizenship laws in 1982 and are treated as illegal immigrants.
Burma’s government, as well as the Buddhist majority, refuse to recognize the term “Rohingya,” referring to them as “Bengalis.”
Construction of mosques and religious schools in the region was banned in 1962 when military rule was first established in the country.