We are persecuted by the Burmese government, so we came here for peace, but now we are persecuted by the Bangladeshi government. A 25-year-old female refugee from Arakan State, Burma, said this to me while I was investigating conditions at Kutupalong unofficial camp, Bangladesh three weeks ago.
As you read this blog post, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. Tens of thousands of Burmese refugees are in danger of dying from starvation and disease in Bangladesh.
Physicians for Human Rights has found that in recent months Bangladeshi authorities have waged an unprecedented campaign of arbitrary arrest, illegal expulsion and forced internment against Burmese refugees. Critical levels of acute malnutrition and a surging camp population without access to food aid will cause more deaths from starvation and disease if the humanitarian crisis is not addressed.
Reuters South Africa reported on Monday that Chadian official General Oky Dagache has asked the UN not to renew the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). While not unexpected, the Chadian government's reluctance to extend the MINURCAT operation, in particular the military component, is concerning due to the essential role played by the MINURCAT force in enabling humanitarian operations in eastern Chad and in north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR).
Today ten NGOs, including Enough, Humanity United, Human Rights Watch, Save Darfur Coalition, Genocide Intervention Network, Physicians for Human Rights, American Jewish World Service, Investors Against Genocide, and i-Act/Stop Genocide Now, released a major policy paper calling on the Obama administration to apply firm benchmarks to Sudan to prevent much broader conflict.