Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Gang Violence in Cox’s Bazaar

The world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, is currently plagued by gang violence, creating a dangerous and unstable environment for the Rohingya population. The violence, primarily driven by drug smuggling and human trafficking gangs, has resulted in numerous deaths and further compounds the plight of the Rohingyas who fled Myanmar in 2017 to escape a military crackdown. The deteriorating security situation also poses challenges for humanitarian organizations and the Bangladeshi government in providing assistance and maintaining control over the camps. Repatriation to Myanmar remains uncertain, exacerbating the frustration and helplessness felt by the Rohingyas. Additionally, armed groups like the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) are exploiting the desperation of the refugees, engaging in activities such as forced marriage, child recruitment, and abduction for ransom. This dire situation has prompted some Rohingya to risk dangerous sea crossings to seek refuge in other countries. Bangladesh now faces the dilemma of managing the camps with diminishing foreign aid while grappling with the escalating security concerns.