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Bangladesh says Rohingya repatriation deal not working

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DHAKA (AFP) – Bangladesh’s finance minister A.M.A Muhith said the repatriation of roughly 750,000 Rohingya refugees is unlikely to succeed as the deal signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh in November fails. The outspoken minister said, “You can speculate that very few will return to Burma. The first reason is that Burma will only take few and secondly is that the refugees will never return if they fear persecution.” Bangladesh submitted to Myanmar the names of 8,000 refugees expected to return to Rakhine state. But rights groups and the UN have warned that conditions for their return are not close to being in place. Refugees living in camps in southeastern Bangladesh have also resisted the idea, fearing they will not be safe if they return to Rakhine. Close to one million refugees live in squalid camps in Cox’s Bazar, having fled successive waves of violence in Myanmar’s westernmost region.

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