3rd phase Rohingya relocation to Bhasan Char starts Friday

The authorities concerned are all set to start the third phase of Rohingya relocation to Bhasan Char island from Friday.

More than 3,000 forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals are scheduled to be taken to the river island over the next two days.

Around 1,500 Rohingyas were brought to Chattogram from the camps in Cox’s Bazar on Thursday. Another batch of nearly 1,500 Rohingya will be taken to Chattogram from the camps on Friday. They are schedule to be taken to Bhasan Char on Saturday.

Five ships carrying the Rohingyas are scheduled to leave for the river island from Chattogram around 9am on Friday.

In the first two phases, 3,446 Rohingyas were relocated there.

Rohingya crisis

Bangladesh, one of the most densely-populated countries in the world, is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. The majority of them came here since August 2017 fleeing persecution in their homeland, Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Bangladesh has been urging the global community to take effective steps to put pressure on Myanmar to create a congenial atmosphere for Rohingya repatriation but there has been little progress.

The presence of the huge number of Rohingyas in the coastal district has put them on a collision course with the locals. Many Rohingyas have gotten involved in various criminal activities.

Foreign Minister AK Momen has said the Rohingya population will pose a serious security threat to the entire region if they are not sent back to their homeland as soon as possible.

Currently, the Rohingyas stay in makeshift cramped camps in Cox’s Bazar vulnerable to various natural calamities.

The government spent millions of dollars to develop Bhasan Char and plans to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas there in phases in the face of growing concerns over the extreme congestion in Cox’s Bazar camps and to avert any risk of death due to landslides and other unwarranted incidents.

Who are the Rohingyas?

The Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Members of the mainly-Muslim majority ethnic minority are denied citizenship by Myanmar and many are forced to live in squalid camps in apartheid-like condition.

State-sponsored discrimination against the Rohingyas stretches back decades.

Bhasan Char

Located 34 kilometers from the mainland, the island surfaced 20 years ago and was never inhabited.

Contractors say its infrastructure is like a modern township, with multifamily concrete homes, schools, playgrounds and roads. It also has solar-power facilities, a water supply system and cyclone shelters.

The island has all modern amenities and recently a police station was set up there.

Source: United News of Bangladesh