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Displaced Rohingya living under open sky along Myanmar-Bangladesh border

Affected by clashes across border in Myanmar, refugees in no-man’s land urgently need shelter, food, medicines

[Anadolu Agency]

More than 1,000 Rohingya refugees, who fled across the border due to the recent bloody clashes inside Myanmar, are living under the open sky inside Bangladesh.

Since the 2017 brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, nearly 5,000 Rohingya have been living in the no-man’s land between the two neighboring states.

Naikhongchhari sub-district administrative head Romen Sharma told Anadolu that more than 1,000 Rohingya, who have taken shelter near the Tambru border in Bangladesh, are under the watch of local administration. “Border Guard Bangladesh, police, and other concerned local officials are looking after them. They are now safe.”

On Jan. 18, a fire broke out in the Rohingya settlement and rapidly burned down all makeshift tents during a day-long fight between two armed groups inside Myanmar across the zero-line. At least one person was killed and several others were injured during that clash.

The panicked refugees reportedly scattered with some taking refuge inside Myanmar and some inside Bangladesh.

“All of our houses have been completely burned to ashes and we have taken shelter in this open field without minimal basic facilities,” Mohammad Solim, father of four children, told Anadolu over the telephone from the spot located near the Tambru Primary School in the border district of Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari area.

He added they are facing acute food shortage and a lack of sanitation facilities amid cold weather.

“Most of my family members, including children, are suffering from fever and cough in this open space with just some tarpaulin sheets hanging above our heads,” Solim added.

Meanwhile, some international NGOs have distributed some relief items among these persecuted people who urgently need shelter, food, and medicine.

Abdul Ali, 70, is one of the Rohingya who shifted to the open field shelter with the help of neighbors when the blaze engulfed his tent in the no-man’s land. He told Anadolu: “Is the world not able to find a sustainable solution to our crisis? Will our next generation also face the same plight?”

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya, mostly fleeing a brutal military crackdown in their home country of Myanmar's Rakhine State on Aug. 25, 2017. Several attempts by Bangladesh and international communities for peaceful repatriation of Rohingya to their motherland of Myanmar have failed due to concerns over safety, dignity, and rights.


(c) 2023, Anadolu Agency


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