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Rohingya camp in Bangladesh, hit by fire



Ms. Hatun, 34, fled Rakhine State in 2017 and gave birth to her second child in the camp. She said she had turned her small hut into a home for her family. Now, she said, she and her family had no food to eat and nowhere to go.

More than 730,000 Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since the murder, rape and arson campaign against them began in 2017. The city of Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh has become a makeshift home for hundreds of thousands. Rohingya refugees fleeing a campaign of violence by the Myanmar army. The Rohingya are being ruthlessly persecuted by the government and the Buddhist mobs that make up the majority in Myanmar.

Settlements have become mega-camps as a huge influx of desperate people fleeing war or persecution continues to flow. Ono van Manen, state director of Save the Children in Bangladesh, said the fire was another devastating blow to displaced Rohingya Muslims.

Mr Manen said that since 2017, more than a million refugees, half of them children, have lived in cramped camps with little freedom of movement, inadequate access to education and violence, including child marriages.

“Simply put, despite the relentless efforts of humanitarian communities, the refugee camp is not a place for a child to grow up,” he said.

In May last year, a similar fire reduced ashes to more than 400 shelters at the nearby Kutupalang refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar. And as growing populations and new shelters build over time, officials say firefighters are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate poor areas.

Authorities in Bangladesh say they are trying to reduce the population in some camps, with a plan to relocate 100,000 people to an island in the Bay of Bengal. Human rights groups have criticized the plan, saying the Rohingya have been forcibly relocated again.


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