Today since 9 a.m. 5 buses and 10 trucks were stationed at the Rohingya refugee camp to transport 3,450 Rohingyas who were verified and approved from Naypyidaw to return to Myanmar.
As anticipated the second attempt to repatriate hundreds of Rohingya refugees failed. Nobody turned up as they fear the Myanmar government will never give them their fundamental rights and will box them indefinitely in IDP camps and gradually destroy their social and moral fabric. Since 2012, there are 127000 Rohingyas in IDPs in Sitwee, who are left there to perish too.
“We will go back only if we are granted full citizenship,” said 35-year-old Farhana Begum, who has two children. “At least we have shelter here.” Farhana fears her family will be killed if they return to Myanmar.
Jafar Alam, a Rohingya community leader said, the refugees had been gripped by fear since authorities announced the new repatriation process. Being imprisoned for years in their very own homeland they also fear of being sent to IDP camps after their return.
Security was tightened across the refugee settlements to prevent any violence or protests during the process said Bangladesh Refugee Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam.
“We have been waiting since 9am (03:00 GMT) to take any willing refugees for repatriation,” said Khaled Hossain, a Bangladesh official in charge of the Teknaf refugee camp.
The following (second) attempt was the result of a recent visit of Permanent Foreign Secretary Myint Thu. The repatriation process might resume after 27th August, according to a source. It’s been two years since the brutal genocidal campaign of Tatmadaw which lead to a mass exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar. This Sunday the Rohingyas will commemorate the “Genocide Day” to pay tribute to the departed souls of their family, friends and loved ones.
Nurul Islam, chairman of Arakan Rohingya National Organisation said,” We are thankful to the government of Bangladesh and the people for giving shelter to 1.1 million Rohingyas and also for being consistent in the policy of voluntary and safe repatriation of our people. We also urge the international community to support Bangladesh by funding for the Rohingya refugee camp.”