Number may cross 3 lakh

Share This Post

Publication date: 8 September, 2017
Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh

Number may cross 3 lakh

Over 2.3 lakh enter in 13 days; 52,000 waiting in no man’s land
Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan yesterday consoles a Rohingya woman who recently fled Myanmar forces’ persecution in the Rakhine state of that country. The Turkish first lady and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited the Rohingya refugees at Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar. Independent Photo

Media: The Independent

Original URL :  Number may cross 3 lakh

E-paper  URL:  Number may cross 3 lakh


At least 230,00 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh in the last 13-day since violence erupted in the Rakhine state of Myanmar in August 25, according to local sources, and the number of refugees may cross 300,000, according to a UN agency. Local public representatives and Rohingya leaders said an additional 52,000 Rohingyas, fleeing the army crackdown in their homeland, are now living in the no man’s land between Bangladesh and Myanmar, waiting for a chance to enter Bangladesh.

“In our estimation at least 230,000 Rohingyas have entered into Bangladesh since August 25. The number is increasing everyday,” said Jahangir Kabir Chowdhury, Chairman of Rajakhali Union Parishad in Cox’s Bazar. Two other union parishad chairmen, preferring anonymity, told The Independent that the number of Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh in last two weeks would be between 230,000 to 240,000.

Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), local administration and local public representative sources said the influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar is continuing unabated with the passing of days as the security forces in Myanmar are conducting ‘cleansing operations’ in Rohingya-majority areas every day.

The World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations said yesterday (Thursday) that the number of Rohingya refugee fleeing violence in Myanmar might exceed 300,000, warning of a funding shortfall for emergency food supplies for the refugees.

U.N. officials have raised their estimate of the total expected refugees from 120,000 to 300,000, said Dipayan Bhattacharyya, who is Bangladesh spokesperson for the World Food Programme.

“They are coming in nutritionally deprived, they have been cut off from a normal flow of food for possibly more than a month,” he told reporters. The surge of refugees, many sick or wounded, has strained the resources of aid agencies and communities which are already helping hundreds of thousands displaced by previous waves of violence in Myanmar. Many have no shelter, and aid agencies are racing to provide clean water, sanitation and food.

According to estimates issued by United Nations workers in Cox’s Bazar, Rohingya arrivals since the

latest bloodshed in Myanmar started 13 days ago have already reached 164,000.

Contacted, Khaled Mahmud, additional district magistrate of Cox’s Bazar told The Independent, “As per our estimation over 52,000 Rohingya are waiting at no man’s land to enter Bangladesh. Everyday new Rohingyas are entering in thousands, dodging law enforcement agencies. At seven points of Naikhonchhari upazila border no man’s land, there are about 32,000 Rohingyas and some 20,000 at different other points of Teknaf and Ukhiya upazila borders.” According to local public representatives’ sources about 35,000 Rohingyas entered through Ghumdhum border points, 18,000 through Balukhali, 15,000 in Palongkhali, about 20,000 through Hnila, about 55,000 in Jaliapalong, 52,000 entered through Sarbang and about 35,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh through Whykong since August 25. Vivian Tan, spokesperson of UNHCR told The Independent that the Rohingya refugees are crossing into Bangladesh every moment and the number is constantly is increasing.

“It is difficult to estimate the exact number of refugees. Due to the huge number, we may need more funds to continue offering humanitarian assistance to them,” she said.

The newly arrived refugees were seen gathering beside roads and putting tarpaulins over bamboo frames to build makeshift shelters to protect them, including many women and young children, against the monsoon rain at different areas of Kutupalong, Balukhali and Leda. With shortage of food supplies, every passing day is becoming more and more difficult for these refugees.

Following an attack on 30 border outposts of the Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) and an army base on August 25, 2017, Myanmar’s military started a crackdown, dubbed a clearance operation against “extremist terrorists”, which has killed over 400 people including 370 Rohingyas, who were identified as ‘insurgents’. 13 security force members, two government officials and 14 civilians also died in the operations, said the Myanmar military on Thursday. Meanwhile, at least78 Rohingyas died in boats capsizes in the Naf River while crossing into Bangladesh.

Visiting the different areas of Ukhiya, Teknaf and Naikhonchori this correspondent observed at least 50,000 Rohingyas waiting under open sky on sides of roads. More Rohingyas were seen arriving on roadsides by bus, truck, three wheelers and on foot. Myanmar is denying citizenship of Rohingya terming them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. However, they were living at Myanmar for many generations. About 500,000 Rohingya refugees are already living in Cox’s Bazar, who had fled persecution in Myanmar since the early 1990s.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

Related Posts

Dhaka: A Refuge that Needs to be Rescued

With homes swallowed by floodwaters and river erosion, migrants...

The issue of loss and damage at COP26: Progress and frustrations

One of the main contentious issues at the Glasgow...

As winter nears, many in Bangladesh fear a Nipah Virus re-emergence

Date: November 26, 2021 URL: As winter nears, many in...

Moving Migrants

Published: The Buisness Standard Date: 24 July, 2021, 07:45...

Halda losing fish species, spawning in crisis

Published: The Business Standard Date : July 14, 2021 URL: Halda...

Halda’s sorrow from climate change, human action

Published: The Business Standard Date : December 31, 2021 URL:...