Bangladesh government begins biometric registration of Rohingyas


Rohingya refugees in a queue as they wait to receive aid relief in Teknaf, Bangladesh, 10 September 2017. Photo: Abir Abdullah/EPA-EFE

Bangladeshi authorities on Monday was due to begin registering the approximately 300,000 Rohingyas who have fled the sectarian violence raging in neighboring Myanmar in the last two weeks.

"Today we will start registration of Rohingyas (in) Cox's Bazar. We will have magistrates and experts from the passport department to take their finger prints," Saiful Islam, one of the Bangladeshi government officials leading the identification of the new arrivals, told EFE.

Myanmar authorities do not recognise Rohingyas as citizens, while Bangladesh considers the almost 294,000 members of this ethnic Muslim minority who have crossed the border since Aug. 25, (according to the latest United Nations figures) as Myanmar nationals.

The influx of Rohingyas to southeastern Bangladesh has steadily increased since the attacks by a terroristRohingya group on police and military posts in the northwestern state of Rakhine and the subsequent military crackdown.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) declared a month-long cease-fire on Saturday to allow the entry of humanitarian aid, which the Myanmar government rejected.

The new wave of refugees comes after the Myanmar army carried out another military campaign at the end of last year following a similar insurgent attack, which triggered an exodus of more than 80,000 Rohingyas.

Before the crisis erupted, between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingyas had been living in Bangladesh, only 32,000 of whom enjoy refugee status.

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