Angelina Jolie visits Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

ANKARA (AA): The UN Refugee Agency announced on Monday that special envoy Angelina Jolie is visiting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The actress, representing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is undertaking a three-day visit to Kutapalong refugee camp in the city of Cox’s Bazar.

According to UNHCR, Jolie will assess the “humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees and some of the more critical challenges facing Bangladesh as a host country”.

Jolie will also meet Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in capital Dhaka on the last day of her visit to discuss UNHCR’s support to Bangladeshi government.

“Bangladesh has been heavily affected by the influx of more than 730,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar since August 2017 and now hosts nearly a million refugees. The majority of refugees — more than 620,000 people — live in just one area: Kutapalong, the largest refugee settlement anywhere in the world today,” said UNHCR in the statement.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.”

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The UN also documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In its report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.