Different food items meant to be consumed by the persecuted Rohingyas sheltered in Cox’s Bazar are being openly sold illegally in areas adjacent to the camps. A top official of the Office of the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, the highest government body on the ground to deal with the Rohingya crisis, including the camp management, admitted to Dhaka Tribune the existence of such an illegal practice and that his organization is working on to stop it.
As this correspondent and others disembarked ships from Saint Martin Island to jetty at Damdamia in Teknaf on Wednesday evening, numerous places were found with different food items like cereals and biscuits being sold. The packet items were clearly marked with the names of organizations like USAID and WFP.
These are openly sold in other places in Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas.
“We bought these items from the Rohingyas,” a teenaged boy said to a question.
In the countrywide protests against the coup, nobody is talking about the future of the persecuted Rohingya minority. I have been living in a refugee camp here since 2017, after the campaign of murder, rape and arson by the military in Myanmar forced more than 750,000 people from the Rohingya community to flee our homes in Rakhine State. Since the military coup in Myanmar on Feb.
“The Rohingyas sell it to us and we earn some money with this,” said a middle-aged man.
Since these items are cheap, people were seen buying them.
“I bought because it’s cheap,” said a person in his early fifty.
Interestingly, the illegal activity is being done right in front of the law enforcement personnel.
“We don’t have any order in this regard,” said a policeman.
“I’ll have to admit that this illegal activity is taking place. We are keeping an eye on this,” Additional RRRC Mohammad Shamsud Douza said.
“We’re working on this to find the ways to stop this,” he said.