Bangladesh flash floods adds to the woes of Rohingya Muslims

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail|21 September 2017|29 Dhul Hijjah 1438

Scores of Rohingya Muslim refugees have been left stranded in Bangladesh after flash floods swept away their makeshift tents and belongings, just days after they escaped violence at the hands of Myanmar’s military.

When Anadolu Agency visited an area along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar Wednesday, hundreds of refugees could be seen walking through floodwaters as they tried to reach safety.

The floods were said to have hit the border area, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Cox’s Bazar city, Tuesday, which swept away all the little belongings of the refugees, many of whom were woman and children.

Rashida Mujeeb was one of the victims who was desperately seeking shelter and a better future for her three young children.

The 34-year-old mother told Anadolu Agency she was on her own since her husband had been killed by Myanmar’s army in the country’s Maungdaw province. She left her home with all the little she could gather following the violence and now a flash flood in Bangladesh had even taken that away from her.

“We walked for five days to get here from Rakhine but now it [her belongings] is all gone,” Rashida said.
She described her hopeless situation as a “divine test” and said she would continue looking for another shelter soon.

Like Rashida, hundreds of other refugees could be seen desperately trying to protect their children and belongings from the submerged area.

Solim Hossain, a 67-year-old refugee, who looked lost among the huge crowd of people, said: “I do not know what to do.”

Since Aug. 25, more than 421,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul

Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will raise the issue at the UN.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine’s Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

Source – Anadolu Agency