Bangladesh signs deal to involve United Nations in repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Bangladesh has signed a deal to involve the United Nations in the controversial process of returning Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, a minister said Monday.

AFP February 12, 2018 19:19:51 IST
Bangladesh signs deal to involve United Nations in repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Cox's Bazar: Bangladesh has signed a deal to involve the United Nations in the controversial process of returning Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, a minister said Monday.

Junior foreign minister Shahriar Alam said the government was involving the UN refugee agency so that it could not be accused of sending anyone from the stateless Muslim minority back against their will.

Bangladesh signs deal to involve United Nations in repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

File image of Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. AP

He gave few details, but said refugees would be asked to fill out repatriation forms in the presence of UN officials.

Bangladesh reached a deal with Myanmar late last year to repatriate the nearly 700,000 Rohingya who have fled across the border since August to escape a brutal military crackdown.

That was meant to start last month, but was delayed by a lack of preparations and protests by Rohingya refugees, most of whom say they do not wish to return without guarantees of safety.

"We have repeatedly said this repatriation process is very complex," Alam told reporters.

"We want to fill up the (repatriation) forms in their (UN) presence so that no one can say they been forced by someone or sent back against their will," he told reporters at a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh's southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar.

There was no immediate comment from the UN, which has said previously that any repatriation must be voluntary.

Alam urged patience and said Bangladesh did not want to send back the refugees only to have them return, as has happened after past rounds of repatriation.

Bangladesh "wants to make sure the situation in Myanmar is safe and secure", he said.

Refugees are still entering Bangladesh with claims of rights abuses by Buddhist mobs and the military.

Many have lost their homes to arson attacks in their native Rakhine state, where witnesses and rights groups say entire Rohingya settlements have been burned to the ground.

New arrivals have brought harrowing tales of rape, murder and torture.

The Rohingya also want guarantees of citizenship before returning to Myanmar, which views them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh even though many have been there for generations.

Updated Date:

also read

Bangladesh: Goons attack Hindu temples during Durga Puja celebrations, three killed; paramilitary deployed
World

Bangladesh: Goons attack Hindu temples during Durga Puja celebrations, three killed; paramilitary deployed

The bdnews24.com news website reported that after allegations of blasphemy, a local temple in Cumilla, about 100 kms from Dhaka, became the centre of a social media storm on Wednesday.

UN passes resolution that clean, healthy environment is a fundamental human right
World

UN passes resolution that clean, healthy environment is a fundamental human right

According to the WHO, around 13.7 million deaths a year are linked to the environment, caused by air pollution, chemical exposure, etc.

United Nations Day 2021: A look at some of the global body's milestone achievements
World

United Nations Day 2021: A look at some of the global body's milestone achievements

The day was announced to “be devoted to making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for” its work