More than 750,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled military attacks in Myanmar remain in Bangladesh camps as future repatriation and resettlement plans remain unclear.
Across the sprawling camps in Cox’s Bazar, close to a million Rohingya Muslim refugees remain in limbo — without a clear future.
Voluntary repatriation plans last month were postponed amid security concerns about ongoing abuses and a lack of international monitoring.
The Myanmar government has allowed tightly controlled trips for international media in recent months, but access to areas where alleged atrocities were carried out has been denied.
In Bangladesh, published footage of a resettlement compound on the remote Bhasan Char Island was also being viewed with concern.
“The UNHCR has not been let on the island to do a risk assessment of the flood conditions but many say the island is prone to flooding and dangerous that means that thousands of Rohingya refugees could potentially be on a flood prone island and that’s a very dangerous situation,” said John Quinley III, a human rights worker for Fortify Rights.
The concrete compound with barred windows awaits an estimated 100,000 refugees who will be transferred from Cox’s Bazar onto the remote silt island, built up by Chinese construction crews and the Bangladesh navy.
To donate and contribute to Rohingya refugees and Rohingya students, please go to www.allmercy.org
With the Bangladesh election set for December 30, any move to repatriate people or relocate refugees to the remote island will be postponed until 2019.
The long-term impact on the Rohingya population are yet to be felt, but analysts say the prolonged denial of education for the school-aged children will be damaging.
“Rohingya in Rakhine that Fortify Rights has spoken to say that the situation on the ground right now is an apartheid state. They have no freedom of movement, no formal access to education, Rohingya students in Sittwe that want to go to Sittwe university cannot go there,” Quinley added.
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