Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: Bangladesh has resumed moving Rohingya refugees to a remote and flood-prone island, authorities said on Wednesday, despite criticism from aid groups and claims some are being relocated against their will.
Nearly 20,000 members of the stateless minority, who fled neighbouring Myanmar in 2017 after a brutal military crackdown, have already been sent to Bhashan Char island. Bangladesh eventually wants to rehouse 100,000 of its approximately one million Rohingya refugees to the island, moving them from cramped relief camps on the mainland.
But hundreds already sent there have since been arrested in coastal towns after fleeing the island, and dozens died in August after a fishing boat carrying escapees capsized. Another 2,000 Rohingya will nonetheless be transferred this week, the country’s deputy refugee commissioner Moozzem Hossain told AFP, more than six months after the last group was sent there.
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