Home Bangladesh Rohingya creates risk for national security
Bangladesh - January 30, 2023

Rohingya creates risk for national security

Economic challenge as well

Faridul Alam Shahin: Rohingya camp is becoming unstable day by day. The Rohingyas in the camp in Cox’s Bazar are getting into conflict within themselves after few days. Incidents like murder, rape, kidnapping are increasing in the camp. Group-on-group shootings, dominance, drugs, weapons and other violence among the Rohingyas have also become a cause of concern for the law enforcement agencies.
Even the Home Minister was forced to say that one day the Rohingyas will be poison for us. The Rohingya has not only increased security risks in Bangladesh, but also increased economic costs and other risks. In this situation, analysts are emphasizing the safe repatriation of Rohingyas to their own country (Myanmar).
On December 10, there was a shooting between two groups of Rohingyas in the Ukhia camp of Cox’s Bazar.
Two Rohingyas were shot dead in that incident. A few days after that, Rohingya camp leader or Head Majhi Mohammad Hossain (40) was killed by terrorists in Ukhia on December 26. Then on January 6, a Rohingya named Mohammad Nurunnabi (40) was shot dead in Ukhia Balukhali Rohingya camp. After searching his house, law enforcement forces recovered a grenade. A few days later, on January 18, members of two separatist organizations, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO), clashed over dominance in the Rohingya camp at the Tumbru border of Ghumdhum in Naikshyongchari, Bandarban. At this time, a Rohingya named Hamidullah was killed in the shelling. In the clash between the two groups, houses were also set on fire. About five hundred houses were burnt.
As a result, it is seen that almost every week in Rohingya camps, there are various types of crimes including clashes, murders, weapons, drug smuggling.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on December 17 amid the situation of one after another killings, clashes, and drug smuggling in Rohingya camps.
In that report, HRW claims that the Armed Police Battalion (APBN) is arbitrarily detaining, extorting and harassing Rohingya refugees in Rohingya camps. The report also claimed that APBN members demanded bribes from the Rohingyas at various times. If they do not pay bribe, they are tortured. The organization also claimed that Rohingya refugees are already vulnerable to violence by terrorists and armed groups.
Regarding the Human Rights Watch report, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, Rohingyas left everything and came here (Bangladesh). They can accept any challenge, tempted by any temptation. The Rohingyas are constantly trading, shooting and fighting among themselves from inside the camp. A DGFI officer was brutally killed in a Rohingya camp.
They are bringing Yaba from Myanmar after burning houses, shooting, cutting barbed wire fences. As a result, Rohingya camp will be a poison for us sometime.
He said, APBN is doing their routine work there (in the Rohingya camp). What Human Rights Watch said in their report about APBN is not factual. These reports should be done after seeing more (collecting proper data).
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch denied the allegations of APBN chief, Additional IGP Dr. Hasan ul Haider. He told, UNFP, UNICEF work with us. They expressed satisfaction with our work. They tell us anything. They never spoke to us about the issues that Human Rights Watch complained about.
Could have asked us about the complaint. We could explain. We have all the documents. They have not shown responsibility by publishing such reports without asking anything from us. It is intentional. Whenever we go to take action against criminals, this kind of propaganda is spread.
According to the National Task Force on Rohingya, about 1.1 million Rohingya are living in Bangladesh after August 25, 2017. In addition, 30,000 Rohingya children are born in the camps every year. According to this, about one and a half million Rohingya children were born in 5 years. As a result, the number of Rohingyas now stands at more than 12,50,000. At least 15 separatist organizations, including Arsa, Al Yaqin, are active in this large population.
In the Rohingya camp, various crimes including drug dealing, theft, robbery are carried out under the leadership of various criminal gangs. They are even involved in armed exercises, abductions, human trafficking and conflicts to spread dominance. Besides, due to the expansion of dominance, one after other murders are going on with bloody clashes.
According to APBN data, 1,167 cases were reported in Rohingya camps in 2021 and 2022. One thousand 685 Rohingya were arrested in these cases. These include 41 murder cases, 40 kidnapping cases. There were also 11 cases of assault on law enforcement and 97 cases of weapons. However, the most number of cases were related to drugs, 978.
According to various sources, nearly 300 people have been killed in Rohingya camp clashes in 6 years since 2017. More than 5,000 cases have been filed at this time. Most of these cases are related to possession of drugs and firearms.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration and Finance) of Cox’s Bazar District Police Rafiqul Islam told that the Rohingyas are still committing the crimes they have been involved in since they arrived in 2017. There are different groups within the Rohingya. They are fighting and clashing for dominance among themselves. Many Rohingyas are even involved in murder, drugs and smuggling.
Due to such activities, they are creating risk for themselves. However, ordinary Rohingyas are safe in the camp under the supervision of law enforcement forces and various NGOs.
The Rohingya has not only increased security risks in Bangladesh, but also increased economic costs and other risks. According to the Joint Response Plan in 2021, the total assistance required for the 1.36 million Rohingya was $943 million. Of this, there was a deficit of $269 million.
That is, in 2021, the amount of aid needed to sustain the Rohingyas, from donors (various countries and organizations) received $269 million less. Every year there was a deficit, almost all of which had to be borne by Bangladesh.
According to the Joint Response Plan, $158 million were needed for the Rohingya in 2020. Of which $629 million were found. In 2019, of the $920 million demand, $699 million was matched by donors. Also in 2018, $951 million was required. Of which $655 million were given by donors. The previous year in 2017, the Rohingya needed $434 million. That year, $317 million in aid came from donors.
Due to the Corona situation and the Russia-Ukraine war, the prices of daily commodities including food have increased around the world. Bangladesh is not out of it. In this situation, providing necessary assistance to the large number of Rohingya population is a blow for Bangladesh. Because only 70 to 75 percent of the money required to support this huge population in other countries comes from donors. As a result, every year Bangladesh has to spend a huge amount of money for the Rohingyas.
About Tk 300 crore was allocated for the Rohingyas from the 2017-18 budget of Bangladesh. Since then, the government allocates an average of Tk 300 to Tk 400 crore for the Rohingyas in the budget every year. To solve this problem, Bangladesh is insisting on the quick repatriation of Rohingyas to their own country. Otherwise, just as security risks are created through drug-weapons smuggling, conflicts, murders, kidnappings, economic risks will also increase along with environmental disasters.
Even the security of the local population is under threat due to various crimes including clashes and murders between different groups of Rohingyas.
Khandkar Farzana Rahman, chairperson and associate professor of criminology department of Dhaka University, told about the risks and crisis caused by the Rohingya problem. Those who are in the Rohingya camps are a nation – who live in depression in various ways.
This results in internal disputes between them over common issues. The Rohingya are an ethnic group that does not have a state. They have no citizenship. No country even agreed to take them.
He said, when a nation is under so much pressure socially, culturally and economically, it is natural that crime tends to increase within them. We are also seeing this in the case of Rohingyas. They are getting involved in various other types.
It may pose a major threat to the security of Bangladesh. If we do not arrange to return the Rohingyas to their own country through dialogue with the outside world, then there will be a threat to the law and order and security of Bangladesh.

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