Return of two thousand Rohingyas of Bangladesh in Myanmar


It isn't clear how long the returnees would have to stay in the transit camps or where they would go afterward, as many Rohingya villages have been erased by bulldozers, with the land given to local Rakhine Buddhists. The first repatriations are due from Thursday, but not everyone who is on the list has been informed and it is unclear how it was compiled.

Rohingyas, a Muslim minority in Myanmar, have been fleeing their homes to avoid waves of violence following the government's deployment of police and military units in response to an attack by Rohingya insurgents on security posts in the Rakhine State on August 25, 2017. Tens of thousands of Rohingya were killed, and United Nations investigators found evidence of mass rape and torture.

The overwhelming majority of people in Myanmar do not accept that the Rohingya are a native ethnic group, instead seeing them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and calling them "Bengalis".

Meanwhile, 20 people who have returned to Myanmar's list have refused to go back. Like me, they all do not want to go back to Burma, and are very confused and anxious.

The logistics of the repatriation remain opaque.

The United Nations, the United States, and 42 humanitarian and civil society groups are warning about a plan to begin repatriating Rohingya refugees that may be without their consent and send them back into risky conditions.

"Two transit camps have been completed since last two months".

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The UN has been granted access to the area to assess conditions on the ground but the approvals have been slow and the amount of territory accessible has been limited. There is still deep-rooted hostility to them in Rakhine's Buddhist community. "The repatriation will be voluntary", Mohammad Abul Kalam, Bangladesh's commissioner for Refugee Relief and Repatriation, told BenarNews.

"I think we can't stress enough that returns cannot be rushed or premature, and the decision on whether or not for a refugee to return should be determined by the refugees themselves when they feel the time and the circumstances are right", said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres.

A senior Bangladeshi government official in Dhaka said no one would be pressured to leave against their will under the process, which both countries have insisted would be voluntary. It said China, India and Japan were "providing necessary assistance" for the repatriation process, but did not give details.

This has prompted criticism from a group of 42 aid agencies - including Oxfam, WorldVision and Save the Children - who say that it would be risky for them. The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights said the Myanmar government has failed to provide guarantees that the Rohingya refugees will not suffer persecution and horrific violence again.

A plan to start repatriating Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar is premature and the refugees are "terrified" about leaving Bangladesh where they sought refuge, dozens of aid agencies working in the region said yesterday. He said the prospect of being forced to return filled him with horror.

"I would rather drink poison than go back to Myanmar", she said.

"Consensus was reached at the Foreign Office Consultation to expedite the approval procedure for Chinese loans for speedy implementation of infrastructure projects in Bangladesh", he added.