‘I ran with baby attached to my umbilical cord through the bullets’: Rohingya woman

Cox’s Bazar: A Rohingya woman was forced to run with the baby attached to her umbilical cord as troops were firing at her.

According to the news published in Daily Mail, a woman, Hamida (30) who was full-term in her pregnancy ran from Quachong village of Maungdaw, Rakhine State after mob invaded and started firing.

Hamida ran into the forest. She was accompanied by her husband and their six children. After staying for 48 hours in the forest, she started feeling labour pains which forced her to lie down on the floor of the forest. She delivered baby boy after three hours.

However, when Hamida listen to noises of the military, she started running even before cutting the umbilical cord.

She ran continuously until she felt safe. When she was finally able to rest again after running for many kilometers, her husband cut the umbilical cord using two pieces of bamboo. Hamida spent three more days in the forest for the recovery. After recovering, she and her family walked two days to reach the border of Bangladesh. A boatman helped them to cross the Naf river. He also gave them a meal. They stayed in his house for two nights, then headed to the refugee settlement in Gumdum.

Read also: PM Sheikh Hasina urges UN-supervised ‘safe zones’ for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims

However, their condition at refugee camp is also not good. Her 15-days-old son is crying for hungry as she is not lactating. Her other children are also hungry as there is no food.

Describing her days in the forest, she said, ‘We slept on the ground, we had no food to eat and kids were crying from hunger”.

470,000 Rohingyas need shelter in Bangladesh

According to UN report, at least 470,000 Rohingyas are in need of shelter in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

According to a report by the UN’s Inter-Sector Coordination Group, the total number of refugees who have arrived since August 25 has climbed to 436,000, although it said that movement across the border had reportedly slowed down in the last two days.

“An estimated 470,000 people are in need of shelter assistance. This includes people who arrived prior to and after 25 August,” the UN report was cited by Efe news agency.

According to the document, the refugees living in makeshift settlements number around 200,000, while around 148,000 have taken shelter in pre-existing refugee camps and 88,000 are living with host communities.

The UN said that the settlements have been stretched to the limit by the massive number of refugees who have arrived in less than a month and the refugees are living in extremely difficult conditions, in addition to carrying severe trauma after escaping the violence in Myanmar.

“In some of the sites that have spontaneously emerged, there is no access to water and sanitation facilities, raising the risks of an outbreak of disease,” the UN said in the report.

Bangladesh’s government has deployed the army to distribute aid in the camps and build roads to the settlements.

The exodus of the Muslim minority Rohingyas began on August 25, when the Myanmar army launched an offensive in the region.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas could be taking place in Myanmar.

Nonprofits have denounced human rights violations and the international community has increased pressure on the Myanmar government over the military operation.