Bangladesh is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises of recent years in the region. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 270,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in this territory, fleeing the repression of the Burmese army. The border region, which already had dozens of refugee Rohingyas, is crumbling under pressure.
With our special envoy,
The road that runs along the border with Burma is flooded with people. Ragged children, women carrying their babies in their breasts, desperately watching for alms of food. Entire groups of refugees are waiting on the edge of this axis. Sometimes trucks or even personal cars stop and give them packets of biscuits quickly. The minimum to survive another day.
Because it’s survival. After all, they fled, almost certain death in their native Burma, these Royhingyas now have to find something to eat and heal their wounds. On the hills that line this road, these survivors recover some bamboos and plastic clothes and build a shelter to hold until the following day.
“Thirteen days in the jungle”
Little by little, they begin to tell their survival path. ” I can still hear the sound of bullets whistling. Simaj Uddin has dark, damp eyes when he speaks of his flight. Two weeks ago, the Burmese army arrived in their village and left them two hours to leave. He took some clothes, and when he turned, this hamlet of 1,000 families was on fire. This 62-year-old man, the father of 14 children, took the road with three of them and his wife. He does not know where his other relatives are.
” We spent thirteen days in the jungle, walking during the day and hiding at night. We ate leaves and fruits. We followed the footsteps of the people before us. Then we boarded a boat. But even there the army was firing at us. Two people died on the boat, “says Simaj Uddin.
About 300 Rohingyas have lived for three days on this roadside. Mohamed Hashem, a Bangladeshi, sold his chickens to install them instead, on his farm. ” I saw them wandering, I could not stand idly by. Even if they are foreigners, they are my Muslim brothers, ” he said.
The resources of international and Bangladeshi NGOs have doubled in recent days, but this can not be enough. For in two weeks, it is the equivalent of a European city that was born suddenly. Or rather a slum of nearly 300,000 inhabitants, who have nothing and need everything.