Thailand News

Breaking news headlines

Should Rohingya Be Repatriated?

2 min read
Vessel with 90 Rohingya Muslims on board

A distressed vessel discovered by the US Navy (USN) Oliver Hazard Perry Class Guided Missile Frigate USS RENTZ (FFG 46) 300 miles from shore with 90 people on board, including women and children. The RENTZ provided assistance and took the Ecuadorian citizens to Guatemala, from where they would be repatriated. (SUBSTANDARD). Photograph used under Creative Commons licence.

Citing concerns of safety and the possible risk of forced returns, Bangladesh says it needs more time to prepare for the monumental logistics of repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.

The number of Rohingya refugees pouring into Bangladesh from Myanmar has soared to over 800,000 as the two neighboring countries try to smooth a repatriation agreement that was set to take effect on January 23. The Bangladeshi government’s decision to delay the plan to return many of the Rohingya to Myanmar comes as an interim sigh of relief amid heightened apprehension for the UN refugee agency, human rights groups, aid agencies and the Rohingya themselves.

Citing concerns of safety and the possible risk of forced returns, Bangladesh says it needs more time to prepare for the monumental logistics of repatriation. While the two nations bicker over when to start implementing the deal, there is no talk about revising its terms, which in itself would facilitate the premature repatriation of the Rohingya refugees. Based on a design that seemed guaranteed to fail, the agreement as it stands only serves to ease Bangladesh’s burden and enable Myanmar to save face as international actors cry foul over its practice of ethnic cleansing. Meanwhile, the Rohingya remain stateless and persecuted, while the international community has done little other than calling attention to their plight.

According to the bilateral agreement, Myanmar has agreed to accept up to 1,500 Rohingya each week in an attempt to bring back more than 650,000 people who fled to Bangladesh following a wave of violence in August 2016. The agreement does not include refugees who left Myanmar prior to 2016, thus turning away several previous waves of refugees. Despite Myanmar’s stated willingness to start resettling the returning the Rohingya, the situation on the ground paints a different picture. The repatriation talks between the two countries came even as the Rohingya continued to stream into Bangladesh on a daily basis, although in fewer numbers than in the final months of 2016.

Full story:

By Swathi Gokulan
Fair observer

Leave a Reply

By using the site you agree and accept the terms of this Privacy and Cookies Policy. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.