An official reported that 2,000 dwellings at a Rohingya refugee camp in southeast Bangladesh were destroyed by fire on Sunday, leaving about 12,000 people destitute. According to Mijanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner, the fire started at camp number 11 in Kutupalong, one of the biggest refugee settlements in the world, at around 2.45 p.m. local time, and it quickly consumed the bamboo and tarpaulin shelters. Although there were no indications of any injuries or fatalities, at least 35 mosques and 21 refugee learning facilities were also destroyed, he added.
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A 30-year-old Rohingya man named Mamun Johar claimed that his store and shelter were both burned down.
It took roughly three hours to put out the fire. The fire’s origin was not immediately apparent. An inquiry has been mandated by the authorities. In the camps where nearly one million Rohingya refugees reside in appalling conditions, fires are frequent. They sought refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar‘s Rakhine province in 2017.
A large fire ripped through a dense Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh on Sunday, leaving thousands homeless, according to a fire officer and the UN.
At the Balukhali camp in the Cox’s Bazar district, no fatalities were immediately reported, according to Emdadul Haque, a fire service officer.
In a tweet, the UNHCR office in Bangladesh reported that workers from the Rohingya refugee community were putting out the fire with assistance from the organization and its allies. It didn’t offer any more information.
What had happened in Rohingya?
Over several decades, more than a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh, including about 740,000 who did so beginning in August 2017 when the Myanmar military began a brutal assault.
Similar fires occurred in the settlement in January 2022 and March 2021, the latter of which resulted in the deaths of 15 people and the destruction of more than 10,000 homes.
When the military in Myanmar, a country with a Buddhist majority, started a violent crackdown on the minority group in 2017, the number of Rohingya crossing the frontier skyrocketed.
Citizenship and other privileges have been denied to the majority of Rohingya in Myanmar. Bangladesh has tried to return them but has been unsuccessful because since the military took over in Myanmar, the situation has only gotten worse.