Repatriation Finalized for Rohingya in Myanmar

Rohingya refugees at Balukhali Camp wait in line for daily essentials distribution Rohingya refugees at Balukhali Camp wait in line for daily essentials distribution REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

18 January 2018
Myanmar is preparing to take back the first group of Rohingya Muslims, despite doubts from refugees and the United Nations.

Over 655,500 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in the last year, following an widely-reported increase in  ethnic cleansing. The conflict-ridden country of Myanmar, specifically its western Rakhine state, experienced a military and militia crackdown against Rohingya residents, in response to armed attacks on military posts by Rohingya militants.  An agreement between the two countries has agreed  that Myanmar will start receiving Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh over the next two years. There are two reception centers and a temporary camp near the Myanmar border town of Maungdaw that will be accepting the refugees.

However, according to Reuters, Rohingya Muslim insurgents are not accepting the repatriation plan, arguing that the “Burmese terrorist government is deceitfully and crookedly offering Rohingya refugees to settle down in so called temporary camps”. Rohingya refugees at the large Kutupalong camps in Bangladesh are hesitant to return to Myanmar until their safety is guaranteed and other demands listed on a petition are met.

Paul Vrieze, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson in Myanmar warned that those returning must not be pushed out of Bangladesh immediately “without the informed consent of refugees or the basic elements of lasting solutions in place”. He stated that  it is crucial that the returnees are guaranteed a “safe, voluntary and sustainable repatriation”.


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