More Rohingya refugees moved to flood-prone island

Bangladesh started moving a second group of Rohingya refugees to a low-lying island in the bay of Bengal on Tuesday (December 29).

Despite opposition from rights groups worried about the new site's vulnerability to storms.

Some clutching ducks, pigeons and chickens in bamboo baskets.

Others wearing orange life vests and masks against the coronavirus.

The nearly 2000 refugees were taken on five boats from a refugee camp on the border to Bhasan Char,

an island which only emerged from the sea 20 years ago and is prone to flooding.

The measure has sparked criticism from rights groups which allege that people are being moved against their will.

Foreign Minister Abdul Momen has dismissed concerns about the island's safety,

and accused groups of spreading negative propaganda about people being forced.

The government has built a 7.5 mile-long embankment to protect the island from regular storms, as well as housing for 100,000 people.

Reuters is withholding the names of refugees going to the island because of the controversy surrounding the relocation with many refugees keen to stay on the mainland and opposed to the move.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority ethnic group which fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in 2017 following a military-led crackdown.

Since then, they've been living in overcrowded and squalid camps in Cox's Bazar.

The United Nations says it hasn't been involved in the relocation and urged the government not to force people to move.