Today the start of operations was expected with the transfer of 150 refugees, chosen among the first 2,260. The UNHRC and humanitarian organizations in the Rohingya refugee camps had declared themselves perplexed. From Rohingya activists, pressures against repatriation and threats to foreign and elderly workers who suggest a return. Dozens of families have already fled from Cox's Bazar camps.
Cox's Bazaar (AsiaNews / Agencies) - No one among the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh intends to return to Myanmar and Dhaka will not force the repatriation process. This is what the Bangladeshi Commissioner for refugees, Mohammad Abul Kalam, said today. The official's statements feed the doubts about the departure of the first Rohingya group to the Burmese western state of Rakhine.
With the transfer of 150 refugees, chosen among the first 2,260, the start of the repatriation operations of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled from Myanmar between 2016 and 2017 was scheduled for today: the approximately 720 thousand who survived the latest sectarian violence added to the 300 thousand already present in Bangladesh. "According to the voluntary assessment by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), none of the 50 families interviewed expressed a willingness to go back in the current circumstances. At the moment, nobody feels safe, "says Kalam.
In recent days, the UNHRC and the humanitarian organizations operating in the Rohingya refugee camps had declared themselves perplexed about the beginning of the trial. The concerns mainly regard security in Myanmar of the refugees, selected according to the criteria established by the agreements between Naypyidaw and Dhaka. Bangladesh claimed that it would not force anyone to return and asked the UNHRC to check if those on the list were prepared to face the trip.
The Rohingya activists also exerted pressure against repatriation and even threatened foreign workers and camp elders, who suggested the return of refugees. For fear of being repatriated, dozens of families have already fled from Cox's Bazar camp, where the presence of Bangladeshi soldiers increases. General elections will be held in Bangladesh on 30 December and the refugee crisis is one of the most important issues facing the future government.