Rohingya Refugee Killed at Myanmar Border Camp

By Muktadir Rashid   19 January 2023

DHAKA – A Rohingya refugee was shot dead, two others injured and many displaced by shooting and fires at a camp in no man’s land between Bangladesh and Myanmar on Wednesday.

Gunshots were also reported on Thursday from the Konarpara camp where Squadron Leader Rizwan Rushdee of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) and a young Rohingya woman were killed during an anti-smuggling operation on November 14.

Bangladeshi intelligence and police sources told The Irrawaddy that there was fighting between groups linked to the Rohingya Solidary Organisation (RSO) and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) broke at the Konarpara camp and sporadic firing carried on for several hours.

“We have nothing to do with the firing as it took place inside the camp and also inside Myanmar,” said Naikhyangchhari police chief Mohammad Shahjahan on Thursday.

Police said the border is mainly under Border Guard Bangladesh jurisdiction. The border force was unavailable for comment.

A law enforcement agency source in Bandarban said one man in RSO “combat uniform” was shot dead and many others were injured on the border and inside Myanmar.

Two intelligence agents said fighting between the RSO and “uncontrolled” ARSA was responsible for Rushdee’s death in November. ARSA denied involvement.

DGFI Cox’s Bazar officer Mohammad Anwar Hossain on November 23 filed a case against ARSA commander-in-chief Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi and 66 others for Rushdee’s death.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Bangladesh told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that two injured people were treated at its Kutupalong clinic in Cox’s Bazar. Another victim was dead on arrival.

“MSF can confirm that among the two injured patients who survived, one suffered a gunshot wound and has been referred for further treatment to another facility. The second patient, a child, sustained minor injuries after a bullet grazed his hand and damaged the tissue,” the charity said.

The deceased man was Hamid Ullah, 24, while Mohid Ullah, 23, of Shalbagan Rohingya camp near Cox’s Bazar was admitted to a government hospital.

Ullah’s brother-in-law Mohammad Shaker said he was an RSO member.

Rohingya community leader Dil Mohammad told the media that the rival groups were fighting to control the refugee camp.

Many Rohingya were later displaced after fires were set at the camp.

“We have learned it was ARSA who set fire to escape from Konarpara. I saw over 100 Rohingya lose their shelters,” said a Bangladeshi visitor.

Bangladesh Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammed Mizanur Rahman said many of those displaced were seeking safety inside Bangladesh.

“We put our law enforcement agencies on alert and asked them not to allow anyone inside into Bangladeshi territory as we are already overburdened and have no room to accommodate a single person,” he told The Irrawaddy.

RSO or ARSA made no comment.

Last month Bangladeshi home minister Asaduzzaman Khan announced that security at Konarpara would be increased, including extra fencing to reduce transborder crimes.

He said around 4,500 Rohingyas in no man’s land would not be relocated but fences would be erected to prevent crime.