Bangladesh relocates more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char

Another 1,096 Rohingya are making their way to Bhasan Char as part of the 13th batch of refugees to be relocated to the island from Cox's Bazar.

Cox's Bazar
Published : 29 March 2022, 10:50 AM
Updated : 29 March 2022, 10:50 AM

As many as 20 buses set off for Chattogram with the refugees on Tuesday, said Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Shamsud Douza Nayan.

A second convoy of buses was scheduled to depart in the afternoon, according to him.

The refugees were accompanied by government officials and law-enforcement personnel involved in the relocation process.

“A temporary booth has been set up at the Ukhiya Degree College ground to take down the names of the Rohingya who are interested in going to Bhasan Char. Only those who are willing to go to the island voluntarily are being registered there.”

Bangladesh relocated the first batch of Rohingya from the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar to the island, lying in the Meghna River's estuary near Hatia, in December 2020.

After a lengthy stand-off with the government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a memorandum of understanding on Oct 9, 2021 to engage in relief efforts on the island.

Until now, 24,578 refugees have moved to Bhasan Char in 12 phases.

In 2018, the government chalked up plans to relocate a portion of the 1.1 million forcibly-displaced Rohingya people living in and outside the refugee camps along Bangladesh's south coast to Bhasan Char.

However, the process of relocation failed to get off the ground due to the reluctance of the Rohingya refugees to move to the uninhabited island.

The government, at a cost of over Tk 23 billion, has set up the infrastructure of 120 cluster villages across 13,000 acres of the island to accommodate more than 100,000 people.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher