Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Bangladesh and Myanmar agree to return Rohingya Muslims within two years

Bangladesh and Myanmar agree to return Rohingya Muslims within two years

Earlier on November 23, the two countries signed a repatriation deal amid global outcry against military crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine that forced over 655,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh since August 25 past year.

Camp conditions in Bangladesh are dire enough, but more than 520,000 Rohingya children are at even greater risk ahead of the cyclone season that generally begins in April, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) said on Tuesday.

The report titled "Bangladesh and Burma: the Rohingya crisis" published on Monday suggested that "continuing engagement" with Myanmar "seems to have been interpreted as tacit acceptance of the treatment of the Rohingya".

United States Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was consulted but it's very important the agency is fully involved to guarantee the repatriation adheres to global standards.

Rohingyas continue entering Bangladesh due to continuing violence and brutality against them in Rakhine, says the statement that comes a day after Myanmar and Bangladesh signed terms of reference of physical arrangement in Nay Pyi Taw, on January 16. Myanmar will then shelter the Rohingya in temporary accommodations while rebuilding houses for them.

"The agreement stigmatizes the Rohingya people as would-be terrorists and includes unrealistic demands that these people, who fled for their lives with no possessions, show proof of residency to the very government that denied them of their citizenship, making it hard for them to believe that they will be protected upon returning home". Our experiences on the ground tell us that it is unlikely that Rohingya refugees will leave camps in Bangladesh if they face uncertainty about whether they or their families will be subjected to violence, abuse, and rape back in Myanmar.

Several thousand Buddhist protesters had gathered for a ceremony in Mrauk U, an ancient temple complex that has so far remained unscathed by the military's crackdown on the region's minority Rohingya Muslim community. "Bangladesh authorities also need to proceed with the paperwork and documents for refugees and send it to us fast".

Ali said the displacement of Rohingya people from Myanmar has soured relations between the two countries.

Officials plan to start the repatriation process from January 23.

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