Conditions Not Yet Conducive for Rohingya Refugee to Return Home to Myanmar

Rohingya crisis
REFILE-Boat with 70 Rohingya Muslims leaves Myanmar for Malaysia - sources
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17 April, 2018

The stateless Muslim minrity has been massing in squalid Bangladesh camps since the Myanmar army launched a ruthless crackdown on the community in northern Rakhine state last August.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed a repatriation plan in January but its start has been repeatedly delayed as both sides blame the other for lack of preparation.

According to the Rohingya Blogger, however, the individuals in the photos are the family members of the administrator of Taung Pyo Latya, the designated entry point for returning refugees. "The five members of a family ... came back to Taungpyoletwei town repatriation camp in Rakhine state".

The US government and the United Nations describe the violence against the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing".

The statement said that authorities determined whether they had lived in the country and provided them with a national verification card — a form of ID that doesn't mean citizenship that Rohingya have been denied in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they have faced persecution for decades.

The agency said that in the absence of a tripartite agreement between UNHCR, Myanmar and Bangladesh, The UN agency has continued to engage with governments of both the countries in negotiations on two separate agreements meant to ensure that any future returns are conducted in line with the global standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity.

UNHCR also urged the Myanmar Government to immediately provide full and unhindered access to refugees' places of origin in Rakhine, which would enable it to assess the situation and provide information to refugees about conditions in the places of origin, as well as to monitor any possible future return and reintegration of refugees.

The agency also noted that in the absence of a UNHCR-Myanmar-Bangladesh agreement, it has continued to engage with both Governments in negotiations on two separate memoranda of understanding (MOUs), meant to ensure that any future returns are conducted in line with the worldwide standards.

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Images accompanying the social media post on Saturday showed five individuals receiving identification cards - which do not grant citizenship - from uniformed Myanmar officials, and getting medical help and living provisions from health and social workers.

"This is in no way a repatriation, rather it is propaganda", Kalam said.

Myanmar officials could not be reached for further details and the post did not say whether any more returns were expected soon.

Although the Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for many generations, most people in Myanmar consider them unwanted immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and refer to them as "Bengalis, " a term the Rohingya consider derogatory.

A Rohingya refugee who carries his father for the last 3 days is returned to the quarantine area after waiting hours at the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.

The agency said the responsibility to create such conditions lies with Myanmar, and that refugees in Bangladesh want to see steps taken to ensure basic rights and security.

Many Rohingya refugees express fear of returning to a country where they saw their relatives murdered by soldiers and Buddhist vigilantes who drove them from their homes with bullets and arson.

Doctors Without Borders says the violence claimed at least 6,700 Rohingya lives in the first month alone.


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