DHAKA: On Saturday, more than 1,400 Rohingya Muslim refugees were moved to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, despite resistance from human rights organisations concerned about the susceptibility of the site to storms and floods.
It takes the number of Rohingya refugees that Bangladesh has relocated to the island of Bhasan Char since December to about 6,700, including a similar sized group that were moved on Friday.
The migration is voluntary, Bangladesh claims, but some of the first group of refugees who were displaced complained about being forced. Overcrowding in refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar district, the government also claims, fuels violence.
This period, in two days, we got a total of 3,242 Rohingya. All is pleased with the arrangements here,’ said Navy Commodore Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury, the island’s officer in command.
On Saturday, five ships moved 1,466 Rohingya and their belongings after they were transported to Chittagong from the camps, he said.
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In neighbouring Buddhist-majority Myanmar, the Rohingya, a minority group fleeing persecution, are not allowed to travel off the island, which is several hours away from the southern port.
10 percent of the 1 million refugees living in rampant border camps want to be relocated by the Dhaka government.