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[Published: Friday November 26 2021]

 Rohingya refugees trapped between state violence and armed gangs

 
The Ner Arab, 24 November 2021
 
LONDON, 26 Nov. - (ANA)  - The legitimacy of repatriation to Myanmar is looking increasingly difficult for Rohingya Muslims dwelling in refugee camps in Bangladesh due to escalating violence in Myanmar's Chin and Rakhine states. 
 
Meanwhile, a perilous chain of events has also further exacerbated refugee fears since the killing of prominent community leader Mohib Ullah in September by armed gangs. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are exasperated by the unfolding crisis.
 
Mohammad Yousof, a 65-year-old shopkeeper and father of eight told The New Arab he had been warned by the Bangladesh Camp in Charge (CIC) official that if he did not “destroy” his tea shop, they would do it for him. Days later, as he served his customers he said, “the CIC arrived with a bunch of men at 11.30am and destroyed about 15 or 16 shops”. 
 
Some of the Rohingya living in camps say rations from the World Food Program are not sufficient to feed their families. 
 
Yousof, who said he sold tea, coffee, biscuits, cigarettes, and betel, was saving money for his daughter’s wedding; money that he said was also being used to buy “fish, vegetables and medicines we cannot get from the NGO hospital”. He said his children are not educated and so cannot get jobs with NGOs in the camp.
 
“We were told Rohingya cannot do any kind of business in the camp; they [CIC] accused us of making money for gangs to buy weapons. Instead of finding and arresting the real culprits, they are torturing innocent people like us. 
 
“We cannot survive this kind of life anymore. What is our fault? We are only running tiny corner shops to support our poor families, nothing more than this. We just want to go back to Myanmar but we need help from other countries. We know we are being treated this way because we have become a huge burden for Bangladesh.” 
 
According to the UNHCR, there are 907,766 registered Rohingya living in Bangladesh refugee camps. In 2017, more than 700,000 fled from their homes in Rakhine as Myanmar’s army burned down their villages. The Bangladesh government is keen for the Rohingya to be repatriated to Myanmar, but with violence raging in the country, Adib-Moghaddam said this would not be a just solution.  - (ANA) -
 
AB/ANA/26 November 2021 - - -
 
 

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