Bangladesh to build camp for huge in­flux of Ro­hingya

The Buffalo News - - WORLD NEWS - By Hannah Beech

BANGKOK – Bangladesh, fac­ing an un­prece­dented in­flux of eth­nic Ro­hingya, plans to build a vast camp to house about 400,000 refugees who have poured into the coun­try dur­ing the past three weeks.

The new set­tle­ments will be built within the next 10 days on 2,000 acres in the Cox’s Bazar dis­trict near Bangladesh’s bor­der with Myan­mar, of­fi­cials have said.

Of­fi­cials plan to con­struct 14,000 shel­ters, each with the ca­pac­ity to hold six fam­i­lies, with the help of in­ter­na­tional aid or­ga­ni­za­tions and the Bangladesh mil­i­tary.

Poor and over­pop­u­lated, Bangladesh is no haven for the Ro­hingya, a long-per­se­cuted Mus­lim mi­nor­ity from Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity Myan­mar. Camps were al­ready over­flow­ing with at least 400,000 Ro­hingya be­fore the cur­rent ex­o­dus was pro­voked by Ro­hingya mil­i­tants’ at­tack­ing Myan­mar po­lice posts and an army base on Aug. 25. a cam­paign of vil­lage torch­ings, ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and gang rape, ac­cord­ing to sur­vivors and in­ter­na­tional rights groups. Wit­nesses and rights or­ga­ni­za­tions have also ac­cused the mil­i­tary of us­ing heli­copters to un­leash a scorched-earth cam­paign, burn­ing Ro­hingya vil­lages.

The United Na­tions de­scribed the ac­tions against the Ro­hingya as a “text­book ex­am­ple of eth­nic cleans­ing.”

With a record num­ber of Ro­hingya flee­ing over the bor­der into Bangladesh, ar­rivals have been forced to line the streets of lo­cal vil­lages, beg­ging for food and wa­ter, and the cur­rent set­tle­ments have reached ca­pac­ity.

The govern­ment said re­stric­tions would be placed on any in­hab­i­tants of the planned set­tle­ment. Ro­hingya will also be barred from trav­el­ing by ve­hi­cle in Bangladesh, and only those reg­is­tered as refugees will qual­ify for of­fi­cial as­sis­tance.

“The Ro­hingya refugees won’t be al­lowed to go out­side the camp,” Asaduz­za­man Khan, the Bangladeshi min­is­ter of home af­fairs, said last Sun­day.

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