What is the Endgame on Basan Char?

The UN refugee agency is facing “serious questions” over its involvement in relocating Rohingya refugees to an island off of Bangladesh, The Guardian reports.
 
Backstory: Some 20,000 refugees have been moved to the island of Basan Char in the past year and are unable to leave. Bangladesh has argued that conditions on the island are better than in Cox’s Bazar, the mainland site of the world’s largest refugee camp.
 
Next: With the help of a memorandum of understanding with UNHCR, Bangladesh plans to send 80,000 more people to the island over the next 3 months.
 
A leaked copy of the agreement did not guarantee refugees freedom of movement, Reuters reported.
 
But refugee advocates question whether conditions are “more akin to detention than refuge,” and whether there’s a coherent long-term plan.  
 
“What is the endgame? Do they assume people can live happily on Bhasan Char?” said former UNHCR official Jeff Crisp.

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