Myanmar, Bangladesh Pledge to Repatriate Rohingya Refugees 'Within Two Years'

Bangladesh Is Sending Rohingya Back To Myanmar — That's Not Good

"The protection of the Rohingya refugees must be guaranteed both in Bangladesh and upon their return to Myanmar", she said in an emailed response.

Myanmar has been in talks with the Bangladesh government since last year on returning about 650,000 people who fled to Bangladesh from northern Rakhine State in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on government security outposts on August 25 last year and the ensuing massive military reprisals.

Most of the Rohingya refugees approached in Bangladeshi camps by AFP reporters were said to be unwilling to return to a state where their villages had been torched and where they allege they had suffered violent persecution led by the Myanmar army and ethnic Rakhine population.

UNHCR said that "major challenges have to be overcome" to ensure a safe and sustainable return, such as consultations with the refugees themselves, safe transit and future security.

The repatriation process is expected to start on January 22.

One of the most striking characteristics of the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar to Bangladesh has been the speed with which the two states have started to discuss and plan for the refugees' repatriation.

"For now, we are hopeful as Myanmar said a temporary camp for 30,000 refugees would be ready". Yet Rohingya refugees are extremely reluctant to return to a country where they have been subjected to awful violence and where they would continue to be deprived of citizenship, rights and economic opportunities.

The organisation said they were working to provide children and families with access to safe water and sanitation facilities, adding that overcrowding and the growing risk of extreme weather, increased the risk of further outbreaks. Secondly, they have to give back our lands. Myanmar repeatedly denies that.

In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons worldwide development committee said on Monday that the return of refugees "without a clear understanding of their legal status, interim and/or final destination, or even whether they have volunteered for the return trip" was a matter of "grave concern".

He noted that the refugees include orphans, which he said Myanmar will accept "if their parents really lived in Rakhine state", based on comparisons between his government's data and "court documents from Bangladesh". It said they agreed that the process "would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation".

Camps were similarly erected for more than 120,000 Rohingya following communal riots in 2012. "We can not fail them again", said Stephen Twigg MP, also the chair of the committee.

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