Rohingya repatriation effort failed again

COX’S BAZAR: The second effort to repatriate Rohingyas to Myanmar scheduled for Thursday (August 22) has been halted again due to their reluctance to back home despite all preparations taken.

Some 3,450 Rohingyas were scheduled to be repatriated voluntarily to Myanmar through Ghundhum border area in Bandarban. But none of the interviewed 295 Rohingya families expressed their willingness to go back to their country.

The Rohingyas say they will not return to Myanmar if their main three demands, including citizenship, are not fulfilled.

Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Abul Kalam told Banglanews that as per the government’s decision, no Rohingya will be forced back. There are all kinds of preparations for repatriation. Interviews will also continue. If any of them show interest, the repatriation process will begin.

Five buses remain ready for carrying the Rohingyas and three trucks for their belongings but none have responded yet.

In addition, law enforcers enhanced security measures from Shalban Rohingya camp in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar to Ghumdhum in Naikkhangchhari of Bandarban.

Several officials of the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, including two from the Chinese embassy and one from Myanmar, were staying in Teknaf to monitor the repatriation process. As the Rohingyas have not yet agreed to return so there is an uncertainty over repatriation.

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