Balukhali Refugee Camp, Bangladesh
“We’ve been through this before, but never like this. Never so many people. And now it feels like it might go on and on. It has been eighteen months, but it feels like forever.”
Mohammed Ali, a 65-year-old farmer, was returning from his fields to his home in the village of Kyein Chaung, in the Township of Maungdaw, in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in early September, 2017. And the attack began. The village was surrounded by government soldiers who began shooting at villagers and setting fire to houses as they advanced. The people of Kyein Chaung knew what was coming as they had already seen dead bodies floating down the stream from other neighbouring villages.
“There was only one thing to do. We knew we had to leave and we ran. And fortunately, no one in our own family was injured or killed. But we heard cries around us. We knew that could easily have been us. And it was only good luck that it was not.”