Friday, 7 October, 2022

Quicken Rohingya repatriation

Bangladesh, being a poverty-stricken country, has shown unprecedented generosity in sheltering the displaced people of Rohingya community. Approximately 919,000 of them are sheltered at 32 camps in Cox’s Bazar. For massively sheltering the persecuted people, the country is facing a lot of socio-economic, legal and environmental problems besides uncertainty about the future of the humanitarian crisis. Today, this displaced community has become a major burden for the country. Drugs and arms are allegedly pouring in the Rohingya camps which saw a rise in crimes in recent times.

According to a report published on the front page of this newspaper yesterday, a large number of Rohingyas are now engaged in different crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, arms and drug smuggling, sexual harassment, illegal SIM trading and robbery. As per another report of the law enforcement agencies, during past five years, around 101 murders took place in these camps. The killing of Mohammad Mohib Ullah, a prominent community leader who campaigned for safe repatriation of Rohingyas, has brought the issue of security and crimes in the camps into focus.

A group of unidentified gunmen killed him at Lombashiya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya on September 28, 2021. Known as Master Mohib Ullah was serving as the chairman of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights. In an investigation report of Mohibullah’s murder, police officially acknowledged the presence of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) members in the refugee camp, which is alarming indeed! Armed men, who identified themselves as members of the ARSA roam around the camp at night. Recent data on crimes in Rohingya camps points to an escalation in criminal activities. As per previous reports, Rohingyas have not only killed their fellowmen, but some Bangladeshi citizens as well.

There are also allegations that the Myanmar authorities are providing money to the terrorist groups to destabilise the camps. Enough is enough! The government must have to tackle the situation with an iron hand without further delay; otherwise the situation might go out of control any time. It should redouble its efforts to pressurise the international community so that the Myanmar military authorities are compelled to take back their citizens immediately.