Bangladesh might exile Rohingya refugees


A Rohingya child at the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp, Teknaf, Cox’s bazar. Photo: Mizzima

The Bangladesh government has proposed moving 32,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island that swamps at high tide according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 27 June.

The remote island, Thengar Char, disappears completely under water at high tide, and has no roads or barriers to flooding, according to an AFP report. Accounts from locals and a forest department official who oversaw the planting of mangroves on Thengar Char in 2011 gave an indication of the challenges, according to AFP.

"At high tide the entire island is under three to four feet (0.9 metres to 1.2 metres) of water," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It is impossible to live there."

About 32,000 Rohingya Muslims live in two government-run camps in the Cox's Bazar area, according to the United Nations, but the government estimates that hundreds of thousands of other Rohingyas live illegally in Bangladesh, a country of more than 155 million.

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