Commissioner of the southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar, Joynul Bari, said that France’s Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF), Action Against Hunger (ACF) and Britain’s Muslim Aid UK were told to suspend their services.
Communal clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since early June have resulted in a series of arson and attacks in which several people were killed and injured.
The tension between the two religious groups have been on for decades and nearly 30,000 Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh in the early 1990s to escape alleged persecution by Myanmar’s military now live in two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar run by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Bari said the ban on the three international charities was meant to discourage illegal migration from Myanmar.
“The charities have been providing aid to tens of thousands of undocumented Rohingya refugees illegally. We asked them to stop all their projects in Cox’s Bazaar following directive from the NGO Affairs Bureau,” Bari told AFP.
Rohingyas are seen as illegal immigrants by the Myanmar government.
“We can take no more refugees,” Hasina told parliament last month.
Bari said the charities were “encouraging” more influx of Rohingya refugees following the recent flare up resulting in deadly clashes.
In recent weeks, Bangladesh has turned away boats carrying hundreds of Rohingya fleeing the violence in Myanmar despite pressure from the United States and rights groups to grant them refuge.
The charities were providing healthcare, training, emergency food and drinking water to the refugees.
According to the UN, they are one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.