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Bangladesh to ship 1000’s of Rohingya refugees to distant island regardless of criticism

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Rohingya Refugees sit on picket benches of a navy vessel on their approach to the Bhasan Char island of Bangladesh on December 29, 2020. Photograph: Reuters/ Mohammad Ponir Hossain
  • Bangladesh has determined to maneuver extra Rohingya refugees to distant island of Bhasan Char 
  • Since early December, Bangladesh has moved greater than 3,500 refugees to the distant island
  • The Rohingya, a minority group who fled violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, will not be allowed to maneuver off the island with out authorities permission

Even after criticism from the United Nations and different human rights organisations from around the globe, Bangladesh has determined to relocate 2,000to 3,000 extra Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar to the distant island of Bhasan Char island. 

Since early December, Bangladesh has moved greater than 3,500 refugees to Bhasan Char from border camps the place one million stay in ramshackle huts perched on razed hillsides.

Bhasan Char emerged from the ocean solely twenty years in the past and is a number of hours by boat from the closest port at Chittagong. The Rohingya, a minority group who fled violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, will not be allowed to maneuver off the island with out authorities permission.

“Most probably, they will be taken to Chittagong tomorrow and the next day, they will be sent to Bhasan Char from there,” Navy Commodore Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury informed Reuters.

“Last time, we had preparations for 700 to 1,000 but finally more than 1,800 Rohingya moved there. People who moved earlier are calling their relatives and friends to go there. That’s why more people are going there.”

Learn extra: Hundreds of Rohingya refugees relocated to distant island in Bangladesh

Bangladesh justifies the transfer to the island saying overcrowding within the camps in Cox’s Bazar is resulting in crimes.

It additionally dismisses considerations of floods, citing the development of a 2-metre (6.5 toes) embankment for 12 km (7.5 miles) to guard the island together with housing for 100,000 folks, in addition to amenities equivalent to cyclone centres and hospitals.

Its actions, however, have attracted criticism from reduction businesses that haven’t been consulted on the transfers.

“The U.N. has previously shared terms of reference with the government for the technical and protection assessments to evaluate the safety and sustainability of life on Bhasan Char, though we have not yet been permitted to carry out these assessments,” the U.N. refugee company mentioned in an e mail.

“We emphasize that all movements to Bhasan Char must be voluntary and based upon full information regarding the conditions of life on the island and the rights and services that refugees will be able to access there.”

The federal government says the relocation is voluntary however some refugees from the primary group that went there in early December have spoken of being coerced.

Learn extra: Bangladesh govt strikes Rohingya Muslim refugees to low-lying island

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