Bangladesh on Thursday announced it would build one of the world’s biggest refugee camps to house all the 800,000-plus Rohingya Muslims who have sought asylum from violence in Myanmar.
The arrival of more than half a million Rohingya Muslims from Buddhist-dominated Myanmar since 25 August has put an immense strain on camps in Bangladesh where there are growing fears of a disease epidemic.
A Bangladesh minister gave details of the mega camp as Myanmar’s army blamed Rohingya militants for setting fire to houses in troubled Arakan (Rakhine) state in recent days to intensify the exodus of the Muslim minority across the border.
Bangladesh authorities plan to expand a refugee camp at Kutupalong near the border town of Cox’s Bazar to accommodate the Rohingya.
Seven-hundred-and-ninety hectares of land (2,000 acres) next to the existing Kutupalong camp were set aside last month for the new Rohingya arrivals. But as the number of newcomers has exceeded 500,000 – adding to 300,000 already in Bangladesh – another 400 hectares (1,000 acres) has been set aside for the new camp.
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