Rohingya repatriation very soon: UN

More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar in August 2017 Photo: Daily star

By Sumon Ali

The long waited Rohingya refugees’ repatriation has to be happened from this month. The United Nation Human Rights (UNHRC) investigator on Myanmar urged the Bangladesh government to drop plans to start repatriating to Rakhine state this month.

More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh to avoid ethnic and religious persecution by Myanmar’s security forces in August 2017.

Rohingya refugees crossed the border through the Naf River in Teknaf and entered into Bangladesh. Photo: Reuters

 

Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar said, “I urge the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to halt these rushed plans for repatriation.”

She said in a statement that she had received credible information from the refugees in Cox’s Bazar that they are in deep fear of their names being on the list to be repatriated, causing distress and anguish.

She had not seen any evidence of the government of Myanmar creating an environment where the Rohingyas can return to their place of origin and live in safety with their rights guaranteed.

It has failed to provide guarantees they would not suffer the same persecution and horrific violence all over again,” Lee said.

On October 30, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the return of the refugees in mid-November but the UN refugee agency, the UNHRC said conditions in Rakhine State were not yet conducive for returns.

Myanmar officials said  last month they verified 5,000 Rohingya refugees so far, with the “first batch” of 2,000 to be repatriated in November.

The UN condemned the repatriation deal, confirming it had not been consulted on the plan.