Bangladesh troops to deliver aid for Rohingya refugees
COX’S BAZAR – Agence France-PresseBangladesh will use troops to deliver foreign aid to the border town that has been overwhelmed by Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, authorities announced.
The move follows criticism of the chaotic conditions in which relief supplies have been handed out at the huge camps around Cox’s Bazar, where about 389,000 Rohingya from Myanmar’s Rakhine state have arrived since Aug. 25.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament late Sept. 14 that the army would handle relief aid that several nations have sent in recent days.
“I have given the army responsibility to make sure the relief goods properly reach them [Rohingya] and to oversee what’s in the relief materials,” she said.
Initially, the army will be responsible for taking the aid to Cox’s Bazar.
“We’ve got the directive that the army would receive relief materials sent by foreign nations at the airport and take it to Cox’s Bazar,” Lieutenant Colonel Rashidul Hasan told AFP on Sept. 15.
It was not clear whether there would be a change in the way aid is distributed at the Rohingya camps.
Relief workers are struggling to cope with the huge numbers, with 10,000-20,000 people crossing the border each day.
The United Nations has warned of a looming “worst case scenario” with all of the Muslim minority group trying to leave Buddhist-dominated Myanmar’s Rakhine state where a military crackdown was launched on Aug. 25.
Aid agencies have said thousands of Rohingya were half-starving and a major health emergency could break out unless order is restored in aid management.