At least 400 Rohingya feared dead in IDP camps – humanitarian aid urgently needed

Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK 

At least 400 Rohingya feared dead in IDP camps – humanitarian aid urgently needed

For immediate release
17 May 2023

The Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) has been told by multiple sources that at least 400 Rohingya have been killed by Cyclone Mocha in camps for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in and around Sittwe, Rakhine State, Burma. BROUK fears that the number of dead could increase significantly as many people are missing, and communication services are down in large parts of Rakhine State. 

“No humanitarian aid has reached the affected Rohingya people. The Burmese military are not helping them. The international community needs to act urgently to reach survivors with medical and humanitarian aid, otherwise many more will die”, said Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK).

Some 130,000 Rohingya have lived for over a decade in squalid IDP camps likened to open air prisons, after attacks by the Burmese military and local militias in 2012 and 2013. The IDP camps that BROUK has managed to be in touch with are Basara, Dar Pai, and Thae Chaung, all located in and around Sittwe, Rakhine’s capital city. All shelters have been destroyed in the camps, and people have witnessed many family members being carried away by flash floods caused by the cyclone. BROUK has not been able to establish contact with IDP camps in other parts of Rakhine State.

BROUK has also received information that many houses in the Rohingya town Kyauktaw in Rakhine State have been destroyed by the cyclone, but has not been able to confirm the extent of the damage or how many people have been killed.

“The Rohingya living in Rakhine State are genocide survivors who have been attacked and discriminated against by the Burmese military for decades. The living conditions for Rohingya were inhumane and insecure long before the cyclone. Now, they have faced a horrific natural disaster. The international community must support the Rohingya, with urgent aid to address the immediate crisis but also by making sure the military are being held accountable for their crimes against Rohingya and all other people in Burma”, Tun Khin said. 

The Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where around one million Rohingya have lived since the genocidal attacks by the military in 2016 and 2017, avoided the worst impact of the cyclone. Many refugees were still injured and around 3,000 Rohingya have had their shelters destroyed.

For more information, contact Tun Khin on +447888714866

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