200,000 refugees rally in Bangladesh camps

26 August 2019
200,000 refugees rally in Bangladesh camps
Rohingya refugees attend a ceremony organised to remember the second anniversary of a military crackdown that prompted a massive exodus of people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 25, 2019. Photo: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

Some 200,000 Rohingya refugees rallied in a Bangladesh camp Sunday to mark two years since they fled a crackdown by Myanmar forces, just days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the refugees.

Around 740,000 of the Muslim minority fled Myanmar's Rakhine state - joining those who had fled earlier persecution.

A total of nearly one million refugees now live in three dozen squalid camps in Bangladesh's southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar.

On Sunday, children, hijab-wearing women, and men in long-skirt longyis shouted "God is Great, Long Live Rohingya" as they marched at the heart of the world's largest refugee camp.

Under the scorching sun, thousands joined in a popular song with the lyrics "the world does not listen to the woes of Rohingya".

"I have come here to seek justice for the murder of my two sons. I will continue to seek justice until my last breath," 50-year-old Tayaba Khatun said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Myanmar has said it was conducting counter-insurgency operations in August 2017 against Rohingya terrorists who attacked police posts.

Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah said the stateless minority wanted to return home, but only after they were granted citizenship, their security was ensured and they were allowed to settle back in their villages.

"We have asked the Burmese government for dialogue. But we haven't got any response from them.”