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Bangladesh moves ahead with plan to relocate 100,000 Rohingya

Bangladesh is moving ahead with a controversial plan to move Rohingya refugees to a low-lying island, with construction of facilities to begin “very soon.”

About 100,000 of the one million or so Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh will be moved to Thengar Char, a remote, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal by November 2019, according to details of the $278 million plan released by the office of Mustafa Kamal, Bangladesh’s minister of planning.

Some 626,000 mainly Muslim Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since August, joining an existing Rohingya refugee population of up to 300,000. They say they’ve fled widespread violence perpetrated by the military in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

The Myanmar military denies wrongdoing and says it’s targeting terrorists responsible for killing security forces. The United Nations, the US and the UK have called the situation in Rakhine State “ethnic cleansing” and on Tuesday the UN human rights chief suggested that genocide “cannot be ruled out.”

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