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For Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution, elephants pose a new threat

WHEN the tarpaulin she was sleeping under started rustling furiously in the darkness, Mustaba Khatun thought it was thieves cutting their way into her shelter on the edges of Bangladesh’s Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp, where the city of bamboo and plastic meets the forest. “We thought someone had come to take our supplies so we rushed outside and that’s when we saw the elephant. Then it charged at us,” she recalled of the night in September 2017, only weeks after she fled a military operation in Burma (Myanmar) that killed an estimated 6,700 Rohingya Muslims. A child and an adult were killed in that nocturnal chaos, and the community was left with a new fear to live with after a harrowing escape from alleged “systematic killings and rape.” One of Khatun’s neighbours, his own leg still bandaged from falling over as he bolted from the scene, keeps a grisly photo of the aftermath on his phone. SEE ALSO: Elephant kills child, injures dozens in Rohingya refugee camp Soon afterward, the child’s mourning family decided to move deeper into the camp. Those remaining on the edges formed night watches, monitoring the hills and rallying the neighbours to chase away any elephants that wandered in. But these community responses, which can instantly draw out thousands in a camp of almost 600,000 people, could be part of the reason why 12 people have been killed, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has now teamed up with the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, to formally train special response teams. Abdul Lateef takes a pledge to protect other Rohingya refugees from elephant incursions. Source: Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay After two or three incidents, they realised they needed to organise themselves. Each night, volunteers would sit by their tents, fixing their eyes on the unlit hills from... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, For Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution, elephants pose a new threat, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you For Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution, elephants pose a new threat

 

 

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Published By: ASIAN CORRESPONDENT - Sunday, 8 April, 2018

 

 

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