As countless refugees arriving on Italy’s shores report torture, extortion and forced labour in Libyan detention centers, many say they never intended to make the journey to Europe until the chaos in Libya left them no other choice.
I try to hold on tight as my driver navigates his motorbike over a bumpy and muddy track. His helmet is decorated with a swastika and an eagle, part of an ill-inspired fashion trend called Nazi chic. It's symbolic for a country where hate and racism seen to have become normalized.
In a quiet street, the sound of children's voices can be heard from an open window. They are reciting verses of the Koran in unison. The small Islamic school lays hidden in a walled neighborhood where only Muslims live. This is an island of tranquility in Mandalay, the second-largest city of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.
As the crisis in Myanmar reaches unprecedented levels, frustration is at its peak as the international community remains slow to respond and act cohesively.
Yasmin, 26, holds her 10-day-old baby, who she gave birth to in a crowded refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, a southeastern district bordering Myanmar.
Of the nearly half a million Rohingya refugees who’ve fled across the border and have sought refuge in Bangladesh, women and girls are the most at risk, sleeping under open skies, roadsides, and forest areas with little or no protection.
After finally breaking silence with a much anticipated address on the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has disappointed the world as she refuses to acknowledge the plight of her country’s Rohingya community.
Forsaken and driven out by their home country Myanmar, tens of thousands of Rohingyas are struggling to survive in Bangladesh’s border districts amid scarcities of food, clean water and medical care, mostly for children and elderly people.
On 23rd August, just days before thousands of Rohingyas began fleeing their homes from Rakhine State, Aung San Suu Kyi’s recently appointed Rakhine Advisory Commission, established in 2016, submitted its final report
. The engaging of an independent Commission, tasked with recommending newer ways of improving the lives of Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar’s most deeply persecuted minority group, carried some weight of diplomacy.
As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, thousands that remain in the country face mass atrocities at a scale never seen before.
A dramatic increase in the number of refugees fleeing Myanmar is placing a huge strain on already very limited resources in Bangladesh, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said.