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U.N. braces for more Rohingya to flee, seeks access to Rakhine, Myanmar
October 6, 2017 / 8:59 AM / in a month

U.N. braces for more Rohingya to flee, seeks access to Rakhine, Myanmar

GENEVA (Reuters) - Muslim Rohingyas continue to flee Myanmar to Bangladesh and the United Nations is bracing for possible “further exodus”, the U.N. humanitarian aid chief said on Friday.

Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, attends a news conference on his visit to Bangladesh for the Rohingya refugee crisis, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Mark Lowcock, U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, reiterated the world body’s appeal for access to the population in northern Rakhine state saying that the current situation was “unacceptable”.

“This flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet, it’s into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya (who are) still in Myanmar, we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus,” he told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday. “Half a million people do not pick up sticks and flee their country on a whim.”

An estimated 2,000 Rohingya are escaping Rakhine daily for Bangladesh, where 515,000 have fled since violence erupted on Aug. 25, Joel Millman of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) told a separate briefing.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams

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