Rohingyas from Myanmar are not only in refugee camps in Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar. They are continuing to cross the border into Bangladesh and taking shelter in different parts of the country.
At least five lakh undocumented Rohingyas are staying in different parts of the country.
Around 32,000 registered Rohingyas are now living in two refugee camps in Ukhia and Teknaf. The government has introduced free education up to Class VI, vocational skill training, computer training, and primary and secondary healthcare to prepare the Rohingyas for a better life when they voluntarily return to their homeland.
At least 1.5 lakh Rohingya refugees are living in two slums surrounding Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhia and Teknaf. At least 3.5 lakh Rohingyas are living different parts of the Cox’s Bazar district. Rest of the Rohingya refugees are living in different part including Chittagong.
The United Nations says that some 22,000 Rohingyas have recently fled to Bangladesh. Sources in Cox’s Bazar said quoting the homeless Myanmar people that at least 100 Rohingyas have been killed and 50,000 displaced.
Abu Kashim, Executive Director of HELP, an non-governmental organisation (NGO) at Cox’s Bazar said at least 3.5 lakh Rohingyas are living different parts of the Cox’s Bazar district. Meanwhile, nobody has the real number of Rohingyas in the country.
The officials said that since Bangladesh is already hosting a huge number of Rohingyas from Myanmar, it cannot take in any more refugees.
Amid escalating violence in Myanmar, Rohingyas are continuing to attempt to cross the border into Bangladesh.
The border force says over 70 boats load of Rohingyas have been stopped from entering the country through the River Naaf between the countries in the last two weeks. On Wednesday, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) pushed back 17 Rohingyas into Myanmar.
A boat carrying at least ten persons was turned back early on Wednesday on the Naaf in Cox’s Bazar while seven others were stopped from crossing the land border in Ukhia Upazila, said the local BGB Battalion.
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has sent back 264 boats carrying nearly 2,478 Rohingyas between November 1 and December 11, source said. Meanwhile, at least 30,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar have entered Bangladesh over 40 days, as more tragedies unfold in the continuing carnage of Muslims in the Buddhist-ruled country.
The Myanmar army has declared the Muslim Rohingya-majority northern Rakhine as an “operation zone”, where it claims to be battling Islamist insurgents.
A military crackdown began after nine border police personnel were killed in attacks by ‘insurgents’ at three outposts on October 9.
The United Nations says that as many as 27,000 Rohingyas have fled across the border into Bangladesh since then.
Sources in Cox’s Bazar said quoting the homeless Myanmar people that some Rohingyas are feared to have drowned in the Naf river during bids to flee the ethnic cleaning in Myanmar’s Rakhine state (bordering Cox’s Bazar).
Bangladesh has stepped up security along its border with Myanmar to prevent influx of Rohingyas fleeing violence in Rakhine state that has killed at least 86 people and displaced 30,000 others.
Myanmar and the military have denied accusations by Rohingyas and rights groups of raping women, torching houses and killing civilians during their operations.
Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingyas as its citizens and dubs them ‘Bangalis’. The latest violence is the most serious since the 2012 communal clashes. Many have criticised Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence although her party is in power.
A senior official at the foreign ministry told this correspondent that the government now strongly feels that mounting global pressure on Myanmar is essential as the country is not responsive to Dhaka’s steps to establish and maintain friendly relations.
The official said, “The UNHCR is requesting us to allow refugees to enter Bangladesh but it is not saying anything to Myanmar… Are we responsible for violence in Myanmar?”
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