Bangladesh troops to deliver aid to refugees
COX’S BAZAR: Bangladesh will use troops to deliver foreign aid to the border town that has been overwhelmed by Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, authorities announced.
The move followed criticism of the chaotic conditions in which relief supplies had been handed out at the huge camps here, where about 389,000 Rohingya from Myanmar’s Rakhine State had arrived since Aug 25.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told Parliament on Thursday that the army would handle relief aid that several nations had sent.
“I have given the army responsibility to make sure the relief goods properly reach them (Rohingya) and oversee what’s in the relief materials,” she said.
Initially, the army will be responsible for taking the aid to Cox’s Bazar.
“We’ve got the directive that the army would receive relief materials sent by foreign nations at the airport and take it to Cox’s Bazar,” Lieutenant-Colonel Rashidul Hasan said yesterday.
It was not clear whether there would be a change in the way aid was distributed at the camps.
Relief workers were struggling to cope with the huge numbers, with 10,000 to 20,000 people crossing the border each day.
The United Nations had warned of a looming “worst case scenario” with all of the Muslim minority group trying to leave Buddhist-dominated Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where a military crackdown was launched on Aug 25. AFP