B’desh relocates dozens of Rohingya to island

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DHAKA: Dozens of Rohingya refugees stranded at sea for weeks have been relocated to a controversial flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh officials said on Sunday. Bangladesh last year constructed facilities for 1,00,000 people on Bhashan Char, a muddy silt islet in the cyclone-prone coastal belt, saying they needed to take pressure off crowded border camps that are home to almost one million Rohingya.
The 28 Rohingya were taken to the island on Saturday instead of the camps as authorities were afraid they might be infected with coronavirus, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen. “Most likely they will stay there until they return to Myanmar.”
They are the first group of Rohingya to be sent to the island, local government administrator Tanmoy Das said, adding they were being looked after by navy personnel.
Officials said the group — including 15 women and five kids — were detained after coming ashore on Saturday from one of two boats suck at sea while trying to reach Malaysia. Some 250 other refugees have not been found, he added. Bangladesh had refused to let the two trawlers carrying about 500 people land on its territory. AFP

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