Myanmar says poised to take back ‘verified’ Rohingya
Myanmar is poised to begin “verifying” how many of the near half a million Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh it will take back, the Ministry of Information said Thursday, naming land and sea points in the restive Rakhine state for their return.
Some 480,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine for Bangladesh since August 25, when militant attacks on sparked an army campaign that the UN says was tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.”
The new arrivals are living in increasingly desperate conditions in over-crowded rainbattered camps, reliant on a trickle of aid.
Bangladesh, which already hosted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya before the latest crisis, has led the global chorus calling on Myanmar to take back the Rohingya and guarantee their safety.
But it is unclear how many Rohingya, who numbered around 1 million in Myanmar before August 25, will be eligible for return to a country that does not recognize them as citizens.
Many others are unwilling to move back to charred villages and communities cut by communal hate in Rakhine.
Last week Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her country will repatriate those who meet a strict set of criteria set between the two countries in 1993, when tens of thousands of Rohingya were repatriated having fled Myanmar authorities.
Verification will be carried out “soon” on Myanmar’s soil at two border points, the Ministry of Information said in a Facebook statement.