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Bangladesh Forcibly Sends Back 90 Rohingya Migrants Despite Violence

Police intercepted a group of 70 Rohingya after they crossed the 'zero line' border zone

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Rohingya refugees collect aid supplies including food and medicine, sent from Malaysia, at Kutupalang Unregistered Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Feb. 15, 2017, VOA
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Aug 28, 2017: Ninety Rohingya migrants have been detained and forcibly returned just hours later and Myanmarese troops on the opposite side of the border had opened fire on people leaving the country, said Police on Sunday.

Police stopped a group of 70 Rohingya after they passed the “zero line” border zone.

Local police chief Abul Khaer said, The villagers were caught approximately four km within Bangladeshi territory on the way to a refugee camp in Kutupalong, where thousands of Rohingya live in a poor state.

“All 70 were detained and later pushed back to Myanmar by the border guards,” Mr. Khaer told AFP.

Police said some of the detained Rohingya had entered Bangladesh through the Ghumdhum border area, where the Myanmar forces released the attack of fire a few hours earlier.

Also Read: 10,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar Landed in Bangladesh to escape increasing Violence by Buddhist majority in the Country, Says UN Report

One policeman on condition of anonymity said, “They were pleading with us not to send them back to Myanmar.”

According to Ariful Islam, a commander with Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB), another group of 20 Rohingya were caught on Sunday and returned after traversing the Naf river, a border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Another border officer, Manzurul Hassan Khan, said that across the border in Rakhine, which is also the breeding ground for religious hatred, a new gunfire could be overheard.

More than hundred people have expired since Friday as numbers of men allegedly from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army(ARSA) surrounded Myanmar police stations with guns, homemade explosives, and knives, annihilating not less than a dozen members of security forces.

Around thousands of Rohingya have retreated towards Bangladesh with an undefined number of people — mostly women and children grounded in the border zone, but officials there have rejected to invade them.

The poverty-stricken country already treats about 400,000 Rohingya refugees.

Abdur Rahman, who is a senior government official told AFP that “Officials in Cox’s Bazar, the district bordering Myanmar, have been directed not to pass any “illegal entry” by Rohingya.”

However, at least 3,000 Rohingya refugees have entered the country as refugees since Friday despite massive border protection.

“They fired so close that I cannot hear anything now,” Mohammad Zafar,70, told about armed Buddhists who shot dead his two sons in a field.

“They came with rods and sticks to drive us to the border yelling, ‘Bengali bastards,'” Zafar told AFP.

Rahima Khatun told AFP, she spent the night lurking in the hills after Buddhists in her settlement ablaze Rohingya home.

“We grew up with them. I can’t figure out how they could be so merciless,” she told AFP.

Despite ages of oppression, the Rohingya extensively abstained from violence.

Although in October, ARSA ambushed a sequence of Myanmar border stations, that left some people dead and drove 87,000 scores to decamp to Bangladesh.

Northern Rakhine was shadowed by disorder since then, with civilians ambushed between militants and security forces.

In Rakhine only, the freshest victims are the six members of a Hindu family. Bullet-riddled bodies of a woman and three were found on Sunday.


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UN Agencies and Bangladesh Government Advances to Prevent Further Deforestation

Dillon says disappearing forests are putting great pressure on the animals in the region.

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A deforested section of the Chakmakul camp for Rohingya refugees clings to a hillside in southern Bangladesh, Feb. 13, 2018. VOA

U.N. agencies and the Bangladesh government have begun distributing liquid petroleum gas stoves in Cox’s Bazar to help prevent further deforestation, which has been accelerating with the huge influx of Rohingya refugees during the past year.

Cox’s Bazar is home to large areas of protected forest and an important wildlife habitat. The arrival of more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar has put enormous pressure on these precious resources.

U.N. Migration Agency spokesman, Paul Dillon tells VOA, the refugees have been cutting down the trees and clearing land to build makeshift shelters. He says they and many local villagers also rely almost exclusively on firewood to cook their meals.

“Consequently, the forests in that area are being denuded at the rate of roughly four football fields every single day. We are told by the experts at this rate, by 2019 there will be no further forests in that area,” he said.

Deforestation
Deforestation

Scientists note deforestation has devastating consequences for the environment leading to soil erosion, fewer crops, increased flooding and, most significantly, the loss of habitat for millions of species.

Dillon says disappearing forests are putting great pressure on the animals in the region.

“It interrupts migration pathways and regrettably forces these, sort of, artificial confrontations between animals in the wild and communities as they move into areas that have been logged out often-times in search of arable farmland and that type of thing,” he said.

Also Read: First Satellite Launched by Bangladesh

The project aims to distribute liquid petroleum gas stoves and gas cylinders to around 250,000 families over the coming months. U.N. agencies say the stoves will have additional benefits besides helping to prevent deforestation.

For example, they note smoke from firewood burned in homes and shelters without proper ventilation causes many health problems, especially among women and children who spend much of their time indoors. (VOA)