COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Four UNICEF schools for Rohingya children in refugee camps in Bangladesh have been destroyed in a fire, officials said on Tuesday (Jan 19), with the UN children’s agency calling it arson.
It was unclear who might attack the schools, which were empty at the time, but the security situation in the camps housing around a million people has worsened in recent months.
Last week a blaze thought to have been started by a gas stove burned down hundreds of bamboo shacks in one of the camps, leaving thousands of the refugees originally from Myanmar homeless.
Razwan Hayat, Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner, told AFP that he believed the latest fire wasn’t started deliberately and said that the schools were made of flimsy flammable materials.
“We are investigating. But we think it is an accident. These centres are not permanent structures,” he said.
However, UNICEF said on Twitter the incident was arson and that it was “working with partners to assess the damage of the attack and speed up the process of rebuilding these learning centres”.
UNICEF runs about 2,500 learning centres in the 34 refugee camps in Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar. Some 240,000 Rohingya children studied in them before the pandemic.
They have been closed for months because of measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus but are expected to open again from next month, aid workers say.
The Rohingya are largely conservative with many opposing the education of girls.
Mar 06, 2021A panel of experts convened on Friday to discuss the future of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar following a military coup there last month. The online discussion was hosted by the Centre for British-Turkish Understanding in collaboration with the Justice For Rohingya Minority group and the Burma Human Rights Network and hosted by prominent figures, including […]
Feb 20, 2021