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Heartbreaking Photos Show Rohingya Women Waiting Literally In The Dark For Food

Many women who fled into Bangladesh by themselves have been waiting by the roadside near refugee camps for food handouts.

Posted on September 26, 2017, at 6:03 a.m. ET

Kulsuma, 30, embraces her son while waiting by the side of the road for food and cash distributions near the Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh on Friday September 22, 2017. Kulsuma arrived in Bangladesh 8 days ago. She does not know the fate of her husband.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Kulsuma, 30, embraces her son while waiting by the side of the road for food and cash distributions near the Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh on Friday September 22, 2017. Kulsuma arrived in Bangladesh 8 days ago. She does not know the fate of her husband.

More than 420,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after violence erupted in Rakhine State last month. That's nearly half of the estimated Rohingya population of Myanmar, forced to make the perilous journey across the river to safety.

Violence began in late August after Rohingya militants who call themselves the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army launched coordinated attacks on dozens of border and police posts, to which the Burmese government responded with a heavy crackdown. International rights groups have accused the Burmese soldiers of joining forces with local Buddhists to burn down Rohingya villages — the United Nations has called the assault on Rohingyas a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Once arriving in Bangladesh, Rohingyas have been forced to set up makeshift camps, while thousands of them throng the major roads hoping for food handouts. Much of the food distribution has been haphazard, leaving many families uncertain of where the next meal will come from.

BuzzFeed News met several women who were lined up along the main road near one of the refugee camps; many of them arrived by themselves and don't know whether their husbands are dead or alive. Now they have been forced to wait for an entire day, sometimes through the night, in hopes of receiving some food and supplies for their family.

Romeeja Begum, 30, waits for food with her three children. She said her husband remains in Myanmar but she does not know of his fate.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Romeeja Begum, 30, waits for food with her three children. She said her husband remains in Myanmar but she does not know of his fate.

Hasina Begum, 25, waits with her son. She was separated from her husband while the family crossed the border into Bangladesh.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Hasina Begum, 25, waits with her son. She was separated from her husband while the family crossed the border into Bangladesh.

Fatima Fatoon, 25, fled her village with her three children when the Burmese military attacked and started setting fire to homes. She said her husband was left behind in Myanmar and she doesn't know if he is still alive.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Fatima Fatoon, 25, fled her village with her three children when the Burmese military attacked and started setting fire to homes. She said her husband was left behind in Myanmar and she doesn't know if he is still alive.

Settera, 25, fled to Bangladesh with her two children.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Settera, 25, fled to Bangladesh with her two children.

Fatima Khatoon, 30, like many other women, was separated from her husband after the Burmese army attacked their village. She fled the country with her four kids.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Fatima Khatoon, 30, like many other women, was separated from her husband after the Burmese army attacked their village. She fled the country with her four kids.

Shuma Maher, 35, waits for food by the roadside with her daughter.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Shuma Maher, 35, waits for food by the roadside with her daughter.

Nulbahar, 20, fled with her five children after Burmese soldiers took her husband out of their house. She does not know what happened to him.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Nulbahar, 20, fled with her five children after Burmese soldiers took her husband out of their house. She does not know what happened to him.

Alkama, 20, said her family was caught by Burmese soldiers while they attempted to flee. The soldiers released her and the children but killed her husband.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Alkama, 20, said her family was caught by Burmese soldiers while they attempted to flee. The soldiers released her and the children but killed her husband.

Rashida Begum, 22, said her husband was asleep inside their home when the army arrived and set their house on fire. He died in the fire, and Begum was forced to flee with her child.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Rashida Begum, 22, said her husband was asleep inside their home when the army arrived and set their house on fire. He died in the fire, and Begum was forced to flee with her child.

Anwara, 22, said her husband, a day laborer, was killed a few weeks earlier by Buddhist militias in her village.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Anwara, 22, said her husband, a day laborer, was killed a few weeks earlier by Buddhist militias in her village.

Samira, 20, was separated from her husband after being attacked by the Burmese army in the Buthidaung Township. She does not know what happened to him.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Samira, 20, was separated from her husband after being attacked by the Burmese army in the Buthidaung Township. She does not know what happened to him.

Settera, 30, waits with her baby for food near the refugee camp. Her husband was shot and killed by the Burmese soldiers, who then burned down her house.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Settera, 30, waits with her baby for food near the refugee camp. Her husband was shot and killed by the Burmese soldiers, who then burned down her house.

Rogina Begum, 25, was forced to flee when the military attacked her village. Her husband, a fisherman, died two years ago at sea.
Nicole Tung for BuzzFeed News

Rogina Begum, 25, was forced to flee when the military attacked her village. Her husband, a fisherman, died two years ago at sea.


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