Fearful, Rohingya refugees reject planned repatriation

22 Août, 2019, 22:42 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp Cox's Bazar Bangladesh

Officials from China and Myanmar are now in the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar to oversee the repatriation efforts, said Momen.

Responding to a question, Dr Momen said they will identify those distributing leaflets, supplying English-written signboards and carrying out campaigns encouraging Rohingyas not to return to Myanmar.

A second attempt to repatriate Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh to Myanmar hit a snag on Thursday as the refugees remained reluctant to return to their homeland, officials here said.

He said the buses and trucks would wait at the camp until 4pm and that they would continue to interview families.

Bangladesh claims to have 11 lakh Rohingya refugees in the country.

"We have been waiting since 9am (03:00 GMT) to take any willing refugees for repatriation", Khaled Hossain, a Bangladesh official in charge of the Teknaf refugee camp, told AFP news agency after over an hour of waiting.

Some 740,000, mostly Muslim, Rohingya refugees fled a military offensive in 2017 in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, joining 200,000 already in Bangladesh.

"Sexual violence is an outcome of a larger problem of gender inequality and the lack of rule of law", the report asserts, noting that the UN's ranking of Myanmar's gender inequality at 148 of 189 countries indicates it is especially prone to sexual and gender-based violence.

A UN-established investigation past year recommended the prosecution of Myanmar's top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the crackdown on the Rohingya.

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The UNHCR said in a statement Thursday that many Rohingya interviewed actually want to go home if the conditions are met.

Many human rights groups have accused Myanmar of carrying out genocide or ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

"We will go back only if we are granted full citizenship", said 35-year-old Farhana Begum, who has two children.

UNHCR - on Thursday said the "voluntary repatriation" of Rohingyas will require the continuous engagement of all concerned to build the trust of Rohingyas, and it is a process, not a one-off event.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has refused to recognize Rohingya as citizens, even though many of their families have lived there for generations, and insists on calling them Bengalis, suggesting they are migrants from Bangladesh.

Zheng Tianzhuo, director of political division of the Chinese embassy in Dhaka, who was present during the repatriation move, said he believed that the visit of Myanmar permanent secretary from the ministry of foreign affairs last month was an intent showed by their government.

Myanmar had cleared more than 3,000 refugees from more than 1,000 families as eligible for repatriation and said the operation to return them would begin Thursday.

It further says many stated that they do hope to go home to Myanmar as soon as conditions allow and that assurances regarding their citizenship status, freedom of movement, and security in Myanmar could be provided. The army-led campaign involved mass rapes, killings and the burning of homes.

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