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Rohingyas adamant not to return till their rights recognised
A police officer stands guard outside repatriation camps built for Rohingya refugees expected to return from Bangladesh, in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, January 24, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo via HRW

Rohingyas adamant not to return till their rights recognised

Dhaka, Aug 21 – The stage was prepared to orchestrate the act of sending back the displaced Rohingya persons to their homeland in Myanmar but the protagonists the Rohingyas ignored the call of the authorities to return until their several demands especially citizenship rights are realised.The displaced Rohigya persons who were in the list of sending back said they don’t want to go back to Rakhine where they were persecuted by Myanmar army due to the absence of conducive environment there.
Commissioner of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Abul Kalam told the journalists in the Cox’s Bazar, “The Rohingya people don’t want to go back until their demands are met.”
Meanwhile, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said, deficit of trust among the Rohingya people and instigation of certain NGOs are primary responsible for the thwart of the repatriation.
He said they placed an overture before the 4th joint working group meeting between the two countries that the Rohingya leaders should be taken to Rakhine to show the atmosphere there to create confidence among them.
The minister further said a commission will be formed comprising the representatives of different countries. The minister came up with the statement before the journalists at his office yesterday.
When the process of repatriation started fixing the date on August 22, the Rohingya in the list became vocal with certain demands citizenship, freedom of movement, reclaiming of their deserted properties and security.
Abul Kalam along with the representatives of Myanmar, China and Bangladesh foreing minister were present at the Rohingya camp in Jadimora teak forest at Teknaf for the repatriation process.
Kalam told the journalists : “Myanmar handed over a list of the names of 3,540 Rohingyas to Bangladesh government. We are holding interview of them. So far we have completed the interview of 295 families till 12pm. But we did not get none to go back to Myanmar without conditions.”
He further said, “Bangladesh government took all preparation for starting the repatriation process on August 22. If anyone of the Rohingya wants to go back without any condition, the person will be sent back.”
He also said that they will continue the interview process for getting their consent to go back.
“Bangladesh government has been repeatedly saying that none will be forcibly sent back. So the interview is going on to encourage them to return to their place of origin in Rakhine,” he added.
The authorities of the United Nations Refugee Agencies UNHCR and Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission took the preparation at Ghumdhum border at Naikhanchhari.
However, none showed up at Ghumdhum transit point till the scheduled time till 4pm.
Sources said that three buses and two trucks were kept ready to take the Rohingyas to their origin of place. There was the deployment of huge law enforcers centering the Rohingya repatriation.
“Our survey through interview will continue for getting the consent of the Rohingya people for repatriation. If anybody wants to go back, it is welcome. The process will continue,” Abul Kalam told journalists on Thursday.
“As Friday is a holiday. The process will resume on Saturday,” he added.
It was the second attempt to start the process of repatriation which has virtually been thwarted. The first attempt was made on November 15 last year but it also failed as the Rohingyas expressed their doubts about their safety and dignified return.
Meanwhile, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said, “We hoped the repatriation will commence today at a small scale. But it has not been started yet. However, we did not lose hope.”
“The matter of not starting the process is regrettable. We will let you what steps will be taken next. We will continue our efforts,” he added.
He further said, “The Rohingya crisis is created by Myanmar and they have to resolve it. We would not forcibly send anybody. We want a voluntary, safe and dignified return.”
“The main reason for the Rohingya crisis is deficit of trust. We proposed to take a number of Rohingya leaders to Rakhine to show them that there security and safety to remove their fear and deficit of trust,” he added.
He also said, “Some international and local NGOs are instigating the Rohingya persons not to return. These NGOs will be identified and actions would be taken.”
About the next course of action, the minister said, “We are thinking to set up a commission to address the Rohingya crisis. This commission will consist of representatives of different countries.”
In order to see the process of Rohingya repatriation, the representatives of Myanmar and China were present on the occasion. Earlier, foreign minister said China is actively working for the repatriation process.
Earlier, foreign minister said that the repatriation would begin before September. But the concerned authorities could not provide any concrete statement when the process of repatriation will commence.
Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas since the influx began mainly from August 25, 2017. – Staff Reporter

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