More than 2,000 Rohingya have massed along Myanmar’s coast this week after trekking from inland villages in Rakhine state to join the refugee exodus to Bangladesh.
They follow more than half a million fellow Rohingya who have emptied out of northern Rakhine in a single month, fleeing an army crackdown and communal violence the UN says amounts to “ethnic cleansing”.
The journey to Bangladesh is fraught with danger for the stateless Muslim minority, who have faced decades of systematic oppression in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.
After fleeing burning villages they say were set alight by soldiers and Buddhist mobs, more than 100 Rohingya have drowned in the scramble to cross the Naf river that divides the two countries.
Scores have drowned while trying to cross the waters, while those who survive face new dangers as they cram into squalid refugee settlements where food and clean water are in short supply.