Fire has broken out at a Rohingya Muslim camp in western Myanmar, burning at least 50 shelters and leaving over 2,000 people homeless.
The fire broke out at the Baw Du Pha camp near the state capital, Sittwe, in Rakhine State on Tuesday, destroying 50 shelters.
“About 2,000 people are affected,” said an aid worker, whose name was not mentioned in reports. “They will have no roofs over their heads tonight.”
According to witnesses, fire fighters managed to extinguish the blaze and then treated some wounded people in the camp. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Rohingya Muslims have been facing torture, neglect, and repression in Myanmar for many years.
A large number of them are believed to have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists since the country’s independence in 1948.
Some 140,000 displaced Rohingyas live in camps after their villages were torched down in 2012.
Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, according to the United Nations. Back in March, the UN warned about “dreadful conditions” of the Muslim community in Myanmar.
John Ging, the director of operations at the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), had earlier said he was shocked to see the conditions of the temporary shelters as many of them were on the verge of collapse.
Myanmar’s government has fallen short of protecting the rights of the Rohingya Muslims while refusing to recognize them as citizens.