Bangladesh plans huge camps for Rohingya refugees
The Bangladeshi government announced plans to build shelters for up to 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing from neighboring Myanmar.
The army and aid agencies are due to erect 14,000 shelters, each housing six families, near the city of Cox’s Bazar, BBC reported.
Since late August over 400,000 Rohingya are thought to have fled to Bangladesh, to escape a government offensive.
The UN says Myanmar’s operation could amount to ethnic cleansing.
Rights groups have accused the military of burning Rohingya villages. But the army says it is responding to attacks by militants and denies it is targeting civilians.
According to a report in Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper, the new shelters will be on a site covering about eight square kilometers (three square miles) of land, close to established camps which have been overwhelmed by arrivals from Myanmar.
A total of 8,500 temporary toilets will be built and 14 “makeshift warehouses” will be set up near the shelters, the paper said.
The government hopes that there will be enough places for 400,000 people, AFP reported, quoting Bangladesh’s disaster management secretary, Shah Kama. It is meant to be built within 10 days.
A rubella and polio vaccination campaign for the many refugee children reportedly started on Saturday morning.
Thousands rallied in solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Saturday, euronews.com reported.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, and its leaders are under pressure to do more to help the Rohingya persecuted in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.
Waving Indonesian flags and holding up placards, people clad in white vowed to stand by their “Muslim brothers and sisters in Myanmar.”
The demonstration was also attended by the leaders of various religious communities, including Christians and Buddhists.
Protesters held banners reading “Stop the genocide of Rohingya” and “Stop crimes against humanity.”
Myanmar’s government brands more than one million Rohingya Muslims in the country as “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh, launching a deadly and brutal crackdown on them. Rohingya Muslims, however, have had roots in the country that go back centuries. They are considered by the UN the “most persecuted minority group in the world.”
DANISH SIDDIQUI/REUTERS Rohingya refugees are seen at Thaingkhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on September 14, 2017.