Elephants kill 10 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: UN

2018-03-07 11:01
A Myanmar security personnel keeps watch along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border as Rohingya refugee stand outside their makeshifts shelters. (Munir Uz Zaman, AFP)

A Myanmar security personnel keeps watch along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border as Rohingya refugee stand outside their makeshifts shelters. (Munir Uz Zaman, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva – Elephants searching for food have trampled 10 Rohingya refugees to death in multiple incidents, the UN said on Tuesday, announcing a new plan to foster "safe coexistence" between animals and sprawling refugee settlements.

Some 700 000 people from Myanmar's Rohingya community have fled over the border to Bangladesh since August, following an army crackdown that the UN has said amounts to an ongoing campaign of "ethnic cleansing".

Refugee camps have shot up in Bangladesh's border area of Cox's Bazar, including Kutupalong which is now the largest refugee camp in the world.

Living conditions for refugees remain extremely difficult despite a growing international response, but the United Nations refugee agency said the threat from elephants had emerged as a new concern.

"The area now occupied by the Kutupalong refugee settlement has long been an important habitat for Asian Elephants. There are about 40 elephants in the area and they move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food," the Geneva-based agency said in a statement.

"When wild elephants attempt to pass through the camp they inevitably come into contact with people, which is where the danger arises.

"Tragically 10 refugees have been killed by frightened elephants inside the settlements. Other people have been injured and lost the little property they had," the statement further said.

Living alongside wild elephants

UNHCR announced it had formed a partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has experience in Bangladesh helping people live alongside wild elephants.

The plan includes trainers who can teach refugees how to respond when an elephant approaches, including by detering it from entering the camp.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have announced provisional plans for the Rohingya – a mostly Muslim ethnic group – to return home to Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.

But rights groups and the UN have warned that conditions for their return are not close to being in place.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    bangladesh

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.