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Rohingya Refugees Refuses Camp to Camp Repatriation

Opinion & Analysis | 27th November 2017

By Arifa

Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an agreement on 23rd November 2017 in repatriating the Rohingyas who fled the ongoing state sponsored attacks on civilians since 25th August 2017.

The invalid announcement of the agreement was soon criticized by International bodies and human right organizations that is expected to start within two months according to their announcement.

In a report by Al Jazeera Adrian Edwards for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that “safe and sustainable returns might not be possible at the moment. Refugees are still fleeing, and many have suffered violence, rape, and deep psychological harm. It is critical that returns do not take place precipitously or prematurely, without the informed consent of refugees or the basic elements of lasting solutions in place”.

The new repatriation deal once again follows formula set in a 1992 repatriation agreement signed by the two nations where invalid requirements like residency documents is still made compulsory. And following that will not be an effective solution as hardly any Rohingya could bring those document in the ongoing fire, where they were forced to take this perilous journey by walking via jungles and hills.

Rohingya and activists at refugee camps in Bangladesh and diaspora expressed deep doubts about the agreement.

“They burned our houses, they took our land and cows — will they give us these things back?” asked Abdul Hamid from Hoyakong.

“I’m not happy at all. First, I need to know if they are going to accept us with the Rohingya identity,” said Sayed Alom, also from Hoyakong.

Immediately following the agreement Amnesty International stated “Returns in the current climate are simply unthinkable”.

According to a Rohingya activist “I didn’t find any clear statement how these refugees will be repatriated. I’m not sure whether they will be allowed to return to their original village”

 Similarly other common Rohingyas, activists and concerned bodies thinks it’s a worrying sign for the Rohingyas as Burma want the Rohingyas repatriate to their so called temporary camps.

2012 government sponsored violence placed a huge birth mark in this issue and where 140, 000 Rohingyas are still lingering in different Internally displaced people’s camp (IDPs) in Akyab (Sitwe) alone and many others different townships like Minbya, Rathedaung and others Township.

“IDPs here (Zey Tha Ma Gyi) were also promised by the government to be temporary but are made permanent and Rohingyas here have lost their hope to return to their original villages. And I believe they will do the same with Rohingyas of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung Township and make them their life hell like us” said a Rohingya requested to be unnamed in an interview conducted by Rohingya Vision TV.

Similar statement was also stated in Al Jazeera report saying that “Myanmar minister for resettlement and welfare said they will repatriate maximum 300 refugees a day. So it can take up to two decades to repatriate all those refugees.”

The unjustifiable agreement comes after Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi met Bangladesh’s foreign minister to resolve one of the biggest refugee crisis of recent times.

According to latest report of Inter Sector Coordination Group Portal (ISCG) 624,000 new arrivals (Since 25th August) are reported to be in Bangladesh. And in only last alone week more than 3,000 new Rohingyas were seen to be arriving. Fire on Rohingya houses still continuous in Arakan (Rakhine) state, our reports from 19th– 24th November confirms 4 Rohingya villages under arson attacks. And repatriating Rohingya in this inhumane way only guarantees and indicates the increasing order of Rohingyas in death toll, and act as a helping hand towards the completion of Rohingya Genocide in a world we claim to be living in a modern era with equal human rights.

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