May 27, 2018
Latest News
European Union

EU lawmakers witness refugee crisis as Rohingyas keep flocking to Bangladesh

Kutupalang, Bangladesh, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar continued to stream into Bangladesh having trekked through hills and crossed rivers, often terrified and half-starved, facts that European Union lawmakers were able to reflect on as they took stock Tuesday after a fact-finding mission.

Omar Mia and his family of four formed part of a group of 94 who crossed the Naf River, the natural border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, in two boats at the weekend.

“I used to work as a daily laborer, but last few months there was no work," Mia said. "Only Muslims families hired us for work. But there are not too many affluent Muslims left there either,” said 50-year old Mia, who added that he was from Ana Prang village, near northwestern Rathedaung.

Weeping as he spoke, Mia said he was in the first boat, which contained 42 occupants, including his family.

Aid workers gave them food before they were taken to the UNHCR transit point at the border of Cox's Bazar and Bandarban district near Kutupalang.

They had spent two days in one of the dozens of tents spread across the transit point.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights field officials, who were taking care of the group, said the families would be taken to a vast camp in Kutupalang once a new shelter was ready.

Mohammad Solaiman from Buchidaung said he had initially decided not leave in the immediate aftermath of violence that erupted on Aug. 25 as he thought the situation would soon return to normal.

“I thought everything would be okay," he said. "I had some land and around 40 cows. I could not abandon them. Now they have taken away everything and made me a pauper,” said Solaiman, who arrived in early February.

“Let Bangladesh authorities kill me here, I won’t go back unless I am given my land back,” said Solaiman.

Aid workers can be seen building new shelters at Kutupalong where there is little space to build even basic facilities. Rohingyas are forced to spend their days in long queues.

Bangladesh and Myanmar on Nov. 23 signed an agreement whereby the repatriation of Rohingyas could begin within a period of two months.

However, Bangladesh Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam said the move was delayed so that the process did not suffer any setbacks.

“We are taking our time because we want to involve the UNHCR," Alam said. "We have our agreement with them and we want to fill in the forms in front of them so no one can say we are forcing them or sending them back against their will,” Alam told reporters in Kutupalang on Monday.

“We also want to ensure they will not face the same problem after they go back, that’s why we will ask all for patience,” he said.

Alam made this remarks after he had guided a delegation of European Members of Parliament around the Rohingya refugee camp to give them a first-hand experience of the crisis.

“In terms of what we have seen it’s clear, there is a very difficult situation to manage,” said Jean Lambert, leader of the EU Delegation for Relations with the countries of South Asia.

“Bangladesh has already hosted many thousands of people, who have been expelled from Myanmar, we understand that in addition to over the million people already here there are still people arriving, there are still some stuck in the border, who cannot leave,” said the British MEP.

“We want people to be in a safe space," she said, adding that refugees at the moment feel safe in Bangladesh.

"But they wish to go to their own land, their own country, with their own citizenship and that is something we all have to work for,” she said.

Rene De Vries, head of the European Commission humanitarian office in Bangladesh, believed they have still a lot of things needed to be done for the displaced Rohingyas.

“There are 700,000 people who entered since August, this is on top of 300,000-400,000 who were already here. All in all this is now the fourth largest city in Bangladesh purely based on the number of people,” said the Dutch national.

The current crisis had began on Aug. 25, following an attack by an insurgent group.

That led to a violent response by Myanmar's military in the state of Rakhine, where it is calculated that around one million Muslim minority Rohingyas lived.

They are not recognized by the Myanmar authorities.

The United Nations and various human rights organizations have said there is clear evidence of human rights abuses in Myanmar, with the UNHCR calling the army's operations "ethnic cleansing" and saying there were indications of "genocide."

News history
Commissioner Malmström: EU concerned about threat of new US tariffs

Valencia, Spain, May 25 (efe-epa).- The European Commission's head of international trade and trade agreements said Friday that the European Union was...

Spain's Socialists table motion of no confidence against Rajoy's government

Madrid, May 25 (efe-epa).- Spain's main opposition Socialist Party has on Friday tabled a motion of no confidence in Parliament against the government of...

Court ruling by Spain's National Court casts doubt on PM Rajoy's testimony

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa). - A court verdict that found Spain's ruling Popular Party and some of its former officials guilty of fraudulent financial dealings...

Spain: ruling Popular Party, an ex-treasurer, found guilty in corruption case

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa).- Spain's ruling Popular Party has been found guilty of fraudulent financial dealings and a former party treasurer has been...

Spain: 28 arrests in Catalonia for rerouting public funds to independence bid

Madrid / Barcelona, May 24 (efe-epa).- National Police have launched raids in northeast Spain that have led to the arrest on Thursday of 28 people on...

Russia's Gazprom settles multiyear antitrust case with European Union

Brussels, May 23 (efe-epa).- Russian energy giant PAO Gazprom has formally committed to changing some business practices to settle a multiyear antitrust...

Plastic bottle artwork at London Zoo aims to raise awareness of UK's waste

London, May 24 (efe-epa).- A sculpture made from thousands of plastic bottles was being installed at London Zoo on Thursday as part of an awareness-raising...

22 arrested in Catalonia for rerouting public funds for independence bid

Madrid / Barcelona, May 24 (efe-epa).- National Police have been involved in raids in northeast Spain that have led to the arrest of 22 people on Thursday...

Milwaukee police release stun gun arrest video of NBA player Sterling Brown

Washington DC, May 24 (efe-epa).- The Milwaukee Police Department released on Wednesday a video of officers arresting Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown...

China company enjoys booming business with AI sex robots

Dongguan, China, May 24 (efe-epa).- Shenzhen Atall Intelligent Robot Technology is one of China's leading companies for robots equipped with AI (artificial...

German city becomes 1st to ban most polluting diesel vehicles

Berlin, May 23 (efe-epa).- The German city of Hamburg is set to become the first to ban the most polluting vehicles from driving through certain roads for...

Importers of Spanish wine enjoy growing success in Chinese market

Beijing, May 23 (efe-epa).- The presence of importers of Spanish wine at an exhibition in Beijing on Wednesday demonstrated their success in the Asian...

Samsung to begin producing smallest microprocessors on the market

Seoul, May 23 (efe-epa).- South Korean giant Samsung Electronics announced Wednesday that it will begin production of a new generation of microprocessors...

Australia enthusiastic about trade negotiations with EU

Sydney, Australia, May 23 (efe-epa).- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Wednesday expressed enthusiasm about the European Union's decision to start...

Zuckerberg apologizes for Facebook user data leaks in Euro Parliament

Brussels, May 22 (efe-epa).- Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized Tuesday in the European Parliament for the leaks of user data to Cambridge...

At least 17 arrested as France's public sector goes on strike

Paris, May 22 (efe-epa).- Around 17 people were arrested in Paris on Tuesday amid huge protests and strikes staged to denounce President Emmanuel Macron's...

Anti-Facebook protest held in Belgium ahead of founder's hearing before EU

Brussels, May 22 (efe-epa).- A group of cardboard cut-outs of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg were placed Tuesday outside the European Commission to...

Airbus and some EU member states agree to make amendments to RLI loans

Paris, May 22 (efe-epa).- Airbus said Tuesday that it has agreed, alongside France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, to make amendments to its...

EU trade commissioner believes US unhappy, tariff exemption won't be extended

Brussels, May 22 (efe-epa).- The European Union's commissioner for trade said Tuesday she did not think the United States would continue to exempt the bloc...

European Union adopts new rules on recycling in drive towards sustainability

Brussels, May 22 (efe-epa).- The European Council on Tuesday said it had adopted new rules on recycling that would affect the way in which member states...

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle share 3 photographs of their wedding

London, May 21 (efe-epa).- The newly-married Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Monday released three official photographs from their wedding day.

UK Parliament accuses government of ignoring Russia's corrupt deals, money

London, May 21 (efe-epa).- The lower chamber of the United Kingdom's Parliament criticized Monday the British government and some financial institutions in...

Famed UK flower show gets ready to open its doors to green-fingered visitors

London, May 21 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's most renowned gardening event was getting ready to welcome green-fingered visitors keen to explore the...

European Parliament to stream meeting with Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

Brussels, May 21 (efe-epa).- A meeting between the CEO of Facebook and members of the European Parliament over the social network's use of personal data is...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.