The relocation of Rohingya Muslims to a flood-prone island has resumed in Bangladesh

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Despite objections from humanitarian groups and accusations that some Rohingya refugees are being relocated without their will, authorities said Wednesday (Nov 24), Bangladesh has begun transporting Rohingya refugees to a remote and flood-prone island. After escaping a brutal military onslaught in 2017, around 20,000 Myanmar’s stateless minority members were transferred to Bhashan Char island.
In the future, Bangladesh wants to rehouse 100,000 Rohingya refugees on the island, transferring them from congested relief camps on the mainland. However, hundreds of those previously deported have been apprehended in coastal towns after escaping the island, and many perished in August when a fishing boat carrying fugitives crashed.
Moozzem Hossain, the country’s deputy refugee commissioner, told that another 2,000 Rohingya would be transported this week, more than six months after the last group was brought there. He continued, “Navy ships will deliver them to the island on Thursday.”
The UN Refugee Agency and Bangladeshi authorities signed an agreement last month to help and protect refugees on the island.
Mr Hossain told AFP that all of the relocations were voluntary, despite claims from other refugees that they were forced to go.
“We don’t want to go to Bhashan Char,” a Rohingya woman told over the phone, speaking on the condition of anonymity. She said that a Rohingya community leader in the camps had placed her name on a list of people who would be moved without her consent.

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