The Rohingya people have been subjected to violence for so long that many have tried numerous times to flee the country. Most recently Myanmar just suffered massive floods. Bangladesh authorities, who have issued travel restrictions on the Rohingya, moved thousands of people out of roadside camps and hillside shanties into a larger camp late Saturday night. The UN states that 409,000 Rohingya have reached Cox’s Bazar since August 25th, when the Buddhist military majority in Myanmar launched operations in Rakhine state. Since camps have already filled up with 300,000 Rohingya people, many of the newer arrivals were forced to live in open air or under structures made from plastic sheeting.
On Sunday, Myanmar’s government implied that it would go after escaped refugees, claiming they had links to militants. The government’s information Committee stated, “Those who fled the villages made their way to the other country for fear of being arrested as they got involved in the violent attacks. Legal protection will be given to the villages whose residents did not flee.” The past, statements were addressed that the country would set up relief shelters in northern Rakhine for Muslims, whom they believed had no ties to terrorists.
On Saturday, Bangladesh police gave strict orders stating the Rohingya were banned from moving out of designated areas, and even prevented them from taking shelter. As the monsoon continues to worsen for these people, the UN is already warning others of the insufferable conditions in the camps around Cox’s Bazar. To make matters worse, Rohingya people were drenched by the new monsoon after only a few days of release. Arfa Begum, a fellow Rohingya, and seven family members tried to hide under rubber trees for protection from the bitter cold, near the Balukhali settlement, where they had entered five days earlier. Begum claimed that the police and border guards forced her and her family from the trees, and it took them hours to find another safe haven. By the time they found one, they were drenched. The Rohingya have since found ways of protection, such as building bamboo carpets for the muddy ground.
Most recently, a human rights expert in Cox’s Bazar pleaded with the government to shut down local schools for three days in order to give the Rohingya temporary shelter. General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar’s army chief, ordered a national stance in treating the crisis but gave no signs of compromise.