Bangladesh plans huge camps for Ro­hingya refugees

Iran Daily - - International -

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.

Pro-ro­hingya rally

Thou­sands ral­lied in sol­i­dar­ity with the Ro­hingya Mus­lims in the In­done­sian cap­i­tal Jakarta on Satur­day, eu­ 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.

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