Cold-blooded figures: According to a Médecins Sans Frontières report today, at least 6,700 Rohingyas were reportedly killed in Rakhine State, Burma, in just one month. Of these, at least 730 of the victims are children under the age of five.
According to MSF surveys in refugee camps in Bangladesh, at least 9,000 Rohingyas were killed in total between August 25 and September 24 – a period that corresponds to the first month of the military campaign conducted by the Burma Army. This armed operation, launched in retaliation for an attempted uprising of these people repressed for several decades, has been described as “ethnic cleansing” by the United Nations.
“We talked to people who have survived violence in Myanmar, and who have now found shelter in overcrowded and unhealthy camps in Bangladesh,” said Dr. Sidney Wong, MSF’s medical director, in the statement.
Of the 9,000 people who died, according to MSF epidemiological surveys in the camps, at least 6,700 of the cases are believed to be directly attributable to acts of violence. 69% of these killings were caused by Gunshots, 9% by fatal burns, 5% by beatings. For children under five, the rate of burns and beatings to death was even higher.
Although terrible, these figures are only a downward estimate of the true death toll, according to MSF:
“The numbers of deaths are probably underestimated, because we have not investigated in all the refugee camps in Bangladesh and that studies do not include families who have never been able to leave Myanmar, says Dr. Sidney Wong. We have heard people say those entire families were killed after the armed forces locked them in their homes before setting them on fire. “
The figures revealed by MSF, however, remain far removed from those put forward by the Burmese Ministry of Information, which contained only 400 Rohingyas killed in September – mostly “extremist terrorists” in the words of the authorities, who reportedly died at during the “cleaning operations” of the army. Since the beginning of the violence that led to a massive exile of Rohingya, humanitarian organizations and international observers have accused the Burmese army of arson, rape and killings of Rohingya villagers. Faced with overwhelming evidence and satellite images of burned villages. In response to allegations of blaming the Burmese authorities, the latter countered by stating that the violence was committed by the Rohingya activists themselves.