Sitting in my hotel just one hour car drive away from one of the biggest refugee crisis we have these days is never easy.
As an individual you are always torn between the fact that you have the luxury of a hot shower while not far away, people are struggling with the every day needs.
It also makes you understand how random it all is. In a different world, I would be the refugee and people from Myanmar would take pictures of me while I try to scramble for the basic necessities of life.
Bangladesh has so far taken in over 600 000 refugees from neighbouring Myanmar ( some of them living in the country since 1992 ). Mainly ethnical Rohinga, the camps are sprawling over the hills surrounding Kutupalong and other towns.
As the Myanmar army is executing a police action that the UN as labelled “genocidal” and has the character of ethnic cleansing, many refugee’s arrive with not much more then their cloths on their back.
Now stranded in one of the worlds poorest countries, the situation is dire and is most likely not getting better over time. Despite the efforts of many Non Governmental Organisations, locale and international, to ease the immediate problems, there is no short term solution to the problem.
The Burmese government has so far even rejected that any military operation is going on in the affected areas of their own country.
Stories that I hear are chilling. Rape, beheadings, burnings. Its a wide variety of the most horrendous crimes against humanity.
The situation though is complex. Many critics blame the Rohinga rebels, fighting the central government for years, to have made a cynical calculation when they attacked army outposts a few months ago that lead to the brutal crack down against the Rohinga community as a whole.
In the end its children like Ramjan, who have to carry the brunt of this conflict. He escaped with his mother Nur form Myanmar a few weeks ago. The journey was dangerous and perilous and it finally took his toll on his small body. Malnourished and sick, he was admitted yesterday to the Emergency Feeding Program of the ACF.
According to officials, the increasing of Severely Malnourished Cases were up to 440% from their general rate.
Its hard to say what the future will bring. So far to me, it seems that the refugee camps are not going away soon. Rather become entrenched cities.
As the Burmese administration seems to be hell bend of ending, what they didn’t finish in the 90ies, the chance of the refugee’s to return home is pretty slim at the moment.