Rohingya Seek Refuge in Bangladesh Amid Myanmar Conflict

Sun Apr 21 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

DHAKA, Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, thousands of Rohingya displaced by conflict in Myanmar are gathering along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border near the transboundary Naf River in search of refuge, according to a Rohingya leader in Bangladesh speaking to Anadolu.

The persecuted Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are now caught in the crossfire of ongoing conflict between junta forces and insurgent groups.

Mohammad Nur Hashem, a Rohingya Majhi (community leader) in the Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camp, explained over the phone that Rohingya people are leaving their villages in groups as the conflict escalates.

Approximately 1.2 million Rohingya from Myanmar are residing in densely packed refugee camps in southeastern Cox’s Bazar, having fled crackdowns by the Myanmar military in August 2017.

“At least 200 Rohingya have managed to cross the Bangladesh border and reach refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. They mostly evade security at night and cross the Naf River in small boats, risking their lives,” Hashem detailed.

A Rohingya man seeking refuge told local Channel24 TV that the ongoing conflict between junta forces and rebel fighters has compelled them to flee for safety.

Last week, attacks intensified at the camp of the junta forces in the north of Maungdaw in Rakhine State by the Arakan Army and other rebel groups, displacing many persecuted Rohingya.

Hashem shared that one of his nephews fled home from his village in Maungdaw amid heavy shelling and conflict between junta forces and rebel fighters that began on April 17.

“We haven’t had contact with him since he left home,” he added, lamenting the dire situation in Myanmar that forces people to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has repeatedly emphasized its vigilance to prevent any new Rohingya influx. Border guards have increased security in the southeast Cox’s Bazar area near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Mohammed Rezuwan Khan, another Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar, confirmed that about a thousand Rohingya have gathered along the southeastern border.

He stated to news agency, “Rohingya gather in groups along the Bangladesh border daily seeking shelter, but tight security hardly allows them to enter.”

Abu Saleh Mohammad Obaidullah, additional refugee relief and repatriation commissioner in Cox’s Bazar, stated that Bangladesh border forces are ensuring security to prevent illegal border crossings.

However, he clarified that they do not have any reports of “a large Rohingya gathering” along the transboundary Naf River border of Bangladesh yet.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp