Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh heightens security at Rohingya camps

Surveillance along Myanmar border stepped up, night restriction on vessel operation to remote Bhasan Char island

SM Najmus Sakib   | 21.10.2021
Bangladesh heightens security at Rohingya camps

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh has taken steps to beef up security at Rohingya shelters amid reports of criminal activity and killings at Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal announced the decision to reporters following a meeting of the National Committee on Coordination, Management and Law Enforcement of Myanmar (Rohingya) at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Thursday.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen was also present at the meeting.

“The government held discussions with all concerned and stakeholders to ensure law and order and overall security inside the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char, and arrangements will also be made to increase security. Manpower and logistical support of law enforcement agencies … will be provided to enhance security,” said Kamal.

Surveillance would be stepped up to curb the entry and sale of drugs in Rohingya camps. Border patrols will be stepped up to prevent drug smuggling. Surveillance on the Naf River, the only transboundary river between Bangladesh and Myanmar, will be strengthened, he said.

The construction of barbed wire fences in the camps is in the final stages and there are several watchtowers across the camps to monitor movements.

Efforts are being made in international forums to accelerate the process of Rohingya repatriation, he said. Several people involved in the killing of Rohingya leader Mohibullah have been arrested, he added.

Mohibullah was shot and killed by unknown criminals at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar earlier this month.

Bangladesh is hosting 1.2 million Rohingya in refugee camps in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar who fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state after a brutal military crackdown in August 2017.

And Bangladesh relocated more than 20,000 Rohingya refugees to the Bhasan Char islet last December and will relocate an additional 80,000 soon as it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN to facilitate refugees on the island.

Bhasan Char is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) off the southwestern coast and nearly 193 kilometers (120 miles) south of the capital, Dhaka, where the government has constructed 1,400 big cluster houses. Each cluster house is made up of 16 rooms.



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