400 Chakma from Myanmar waiting to cross Ghumdhum border

The Rakhine hills are seen in Myanmar from the Tumbru west border of Bandarban in Bangladesh. The paddy field is in BangladeshFile photo

Nearly 400 people of Chakma community are waiting to cross the Ghumdhum border point in Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban as fierce fighting has been in Rakhine state of Myanmar between the army and insurgent, Arakan Army, for the last few days.

Besides them, some Rohingyas are also gathering in the area. Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) in Cox’s Bazar Mohammed Mizanur Rahman confirmed this to Prothom Alo.

He said a food crisis has appeared in the border areas due to the fighting between the junta force and the rebel Arakan Army. They are in a critical situation. That is why they are trying to enter Bangladesh.

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members have beefed up patrolling and security along the border so that no more Rohingya or people from any other community could enter Bangladesh crossing the border, he added.

Meanwhile, the Myanmar force has been dropping bombs from helicopters targeting the position of Arakan Army members from 10:00 am Monday. On the other hand, so far 98 members of Myanmar’s border guards (BGP) have fled the country and taken shelter in Bangladesh to save their lives from the Arakan Army.

Currently they are in custody of Bangladesh’s BGB.

Earlier in the day, two persons in Bangladesh, including a Rohingya, were killed as a mortar shell fired from Myanmar fell inside the Bangladesh territory.

The incident took place at Jalpaitali village under Ghumdhum union in Bandarban’s Naikhongchari at around 2:45 pm on Monday.

Currently, the number of registered Rohingya population living in 33 camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar is 1.25 million.

Of them, 800,000 from Rakhine state crossed the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in several months since 25 August 2017. Bangladesh could not send back a single Rohingya in the last six years.

Though repatriation attempts were taken twice, those were foiled as the Rohingyas were not interested to go back to their country of origin claiming that no conducive environment exists there now.