Dhaka,  Tuesday
23 April 2024

Hundreds of Rohingyas, Chakmas wait to enter BD territory

SALEEM SAMAD in DHAKA with SHAHIDUL ISLAM in UKHIYA

Published: 03:50, 12 February 2024

Hundreds of Rohingyas, Chakmas wait to enter BD territory

Photo: Messenger

Hundreds of Rohingyas and Chakmas were seen waiting on the Bangladesh zero line with Myanmar at Ghumdhum point to cross into Naikkhongchhari upazila under Bandarban district.

The fierce war between the rebel Arakan Army and Tatmadaw, the Myanmar government forces in Rakhine State, has made residents flee to safe places inside Rakhine State.

The Rohingyas who are living in guarded areas have been left alone by the authorities of Myanmar. The Rohingyas who are not in those guarded areas are moving from one place to another to stay safe because there is a lot of fighting happening in the area. An official from a non-governmental organization (NGO) who works in Kutupalong camp said this to the relatives of the Rohingyas who are still in Rakhine State.

Last week, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) pushed back a boat carrying 65 Rohingyas while they attempted to cross the Naf River by boat into Bangladesh from Rakhine State, according to the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner in Cox’s Bazar.

Commissioner Mizanur Rahman of the RRRC said, "The conflict between Myanmar's junta forces and the rebel group Arakan Army is causing a food crisis for people living on the Myanmar border, disrupting medical services to the injured. In this dire situation, they are attempting to enter Bangladesh in a bid to save their lives."

Bangladesh to evacuate consulate from Sittwe

The civil war is so fierce that the Rakhine State capital, Sittwe, is likely to fall into the hands of the Arakan rebels.

Bangladesh is evacuating its officials and staff from the consulate in the strife-torn Sittwe port. An official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka said the consulate officials and staff will be moved to Yangon (formerly Rangoon). The Bangladesh Embassy in Myanmar is in Yangon. India has already evacuated its officials from Sittwe.

Smuggled Gold and Opium Seized

In a tense situation on the zero-line, smuggling has increased as Myanmar Border Guards Police (BGP) have fled from their border posts for safety. The borders are presently unprotected and insecure, said Anwarul Islam, a member of the Tumbru Union Council in Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari.
In this volatile situation, the smuggling of gold and yaba along the Tumru border has increased.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) seized 3.5 opium smuggled from Myanmar on Sunday, and earlier, the Bangladesh Border Guards (BGB) seized 24 bars of gold worth Taka 1.89 crore on Saturday and detained a Rakhine woman.

A body was identified as Abul Kalam by the neighbour of the Balukhai Rohingya camps. The police recovered two magazines of AK-47s and 99 bullets from the belt of the dead body.

Abul Kalam is reportedly a member of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) and is presumed to have been killed in conflict with the Arakan Army.

Meanwhile, a video has surfaced of a person with firearms in Falukhali Union, in Ukhiya. The alleged arms seller had collected abandoned weapons left behind by Myanmar forces. Falukhali is known as a haven for criminals and smugglers.

BGB Director Major General Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Siddiqui told local journalists that so far, a total of 264 Myanmar security personnel have surrendered.

Bangladesh is awaiting the safe repatriation to Myanmar of the forces that entered Bangladesh in the last several days.

“We have given shelter and food to them. Among them, 15 were injured. Eight of them are undergoing treatment at Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital and Chittagong Medical College and Hospital," he said.

The vessel of the Myanmar Navy, which has anchored in the sea near Inani at the Bangladesh Navy gangway, has not berth at the naval base in Cox’s Bazar.

The vessel arrived in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday and is supposed to return with the security personnel and other officials after scrutiny of IDs and documents, a BGB senior official told The Daily Messenger correspondent in Ukhiya.

Messenger/Disha

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