The UN has warned Bangladesh of a new crisis if the country goes ahead  with plans to relocate 23,000 Rohingya next month to an uninhabited island prone to cyclones. 

The UN special rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee told the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday that she was unsure if the Bay of Bengal island was truly habitable. She also warned that ill-planned relocations without the consent of refugees have the potential to create new problems for the country. 

Rohingya advocates say the refugees would effectively be trapped on Bhasan Char, a muddy, low-lying island that floods frequently during monsoon season and offers few livelihood opportunities. The government, however, argues that the relocation would relieve pressure on the refugee camps on the mainland. 

More than seven lakh Rohingya are confined to overcrowded camps in Bangladesh. 

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