Human rights groups have reacted with horror to reports of United Nations draft plans to help relocate thousands of Rohingya refugees from Bangladeshi camps to a barren, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.
A document drawn up this month by the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN’s food aid arm, and seen by Reuters, has revealed how the agency supplied the Bangladeshi government with detailed plans of how it could provide for thousands of Rohingya being transported to the island on a voluntary basis.
Dhaka has long insisted that it is unable cope with the dramatic influx of refugees to camps in Cox’s Bazar since a brutal crackdown by the Burmese military in August 2017, said by UN investigators to have been conducted with “genocidal intent”, prompted some 730,000 Rohingya to flee their homes.
Relocation to the uninhabited, remote island of Bhasan Char has been touted as a solution to chronic overcrowding. But many Rohingya are fearful to go and human rights experts warn that the move to an island made of silt and vulnerable to frequent cyclones could spark another crisis.
The revelation of draft WFP plans, including a timeline and a budget for how the agency and its partners “may facilitate the identification, staging, forward movement, reception, and sustainment of refugees” on Bhasan Char, was met with outrage on Monday.
May 28, 2020Some 15,000 Rohingya refugees are now under coronavirus quarantine in Bangladesh’s vast camps, officials said on Monday (May 25), as the number of confirmed infections rose to 29. Health experts have long warned that the virus could race through the cramped settlements, housing almost a million Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar, and officials had […]
May 10, 2020