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Rome Reports

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Fire in Rohingya refugee camp: “The impunity of the military must end”

This column of smoke is coming from the refugee camp near the Bangladeshi town of Cox's Bazar. Some 2,000 shelters have already been burned and their occupants have lost their belongings.

Most of them are Rohingya, a stateless ethnic group with a Muslim majority. In 2017, 740,000 people were violently expelled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, where they live in overcrowded conditions. Just this week, Burmese activists denounced the repression in their country before the UN.

Woman Advocacy Coalition Myanmar

It is a must to end militarism and the impunity enjoyed by the military for the actions.

The Rohingyas have been historically persecuted in Myanmar, but their situation worsened in 2021 when the coup d'état established a military junta. They specifically persecute Christians, Muslims and women. The military has also destroyed landmark churches, such as Our Lady of the Assumption in Chan Thar.

Woman Advocacy Coalition Myanmar

Women's rights and gender equality will never be advanced if the junta remains in power.

The situation of the Rohingyas is of great concern to Pope Francis, who often prays in public for them. In 2017, he met with a group of sixteen Rohingyas while visiting Bangladesh and Myanmar. 

December 5, 2017

The presence of God also today is called rohinyá.

This is not the first time that these refugee camps have suffered fires. The International Organization for Migration, a branch of the UN, has sent fourteen ambulances and continues to work with the refugees.