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Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh since August, with horrifying testimony of murder, rape and arson by soldiers and vigilante mobs.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour [official bio] on Tuesday said [press release] that the "ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues", after a four-day visit to Bangladesh.

The hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are now living in the two upazilas of Cox's Bazar, and have joined the Rohingyas who had been living in Cox's Bazar district for years.

Recently-arrived Rohingya reported credible accounts of continued violence against their people, including killings, rape, and forced starvation, Gilmour reported.

A number of refugees reportedly told Gilmour that Rohingya attempting to leave their homes or villages "are taken away and never return".

Last week, Myanmar's army deployed additional security forces to the border with Bangladesh, with the apparent aim of driving about 6,000 Rohingya refugees staying in a no man's land into Bangladeshi territory.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since late August to escape military and civilian reprisals in the state.

The UN envoy said it was "inconceivable" for any Rohingya to return to Rakhine state in the near future in a "safe, dignified and sustainable" way.

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The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine state of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

The area now occupied by the Kutupalong refugee settlement in Cox's Bazar has always been an important habitat for East Asian Elephants, the agency said.

Rights groups and the United Nations have warned that conditions for their return are not close to being in place.

A recent report in The Irrawaddy claimed that at least 90 percent of the state's Rohingya population have fled.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, deputy army chief Soe Win reiterated the military's stance that the "Rohingya" are not a genuine ethnic group in Myanmar - a view shared by many in the Buddhist majority, where there is broad support for the army campaign.

Abductions of Rohingya girls and women by Burmese security forces was a "recurring theme" said the OHCHR, corroborating accounts of sexual violence and killings provided to other United Nations agencies and non-profit organisations including Human Rights Watch.

Myanmar's civilian government, led by former democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, lacks control over the military but has been castigated by rights groups for failing to speak out in defence of the Rohingya.


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