STRANDED REFUGEES REFUSE TO RE­TURN TO MYAN­MAR WITH­OUT GUAR­AN­TEES

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

Ro­hingya refugees liv­ing in no man's land re­fused on 20 Fe­bru­ary to re­turn to Myan­mar with­out guar­an­tees of cit­i­zen­ship and se­cu­rity af­ter Bangladesh and Myan­mar of­fi­cials met to dis­cuss their repa­tri­a­tion.

The 6,000 Ro­hingya were among the first to flee Myan­mar in the wake of a mil­i­tary crack­down on the Muslim mi­nor­ity in late Au­gust. They have been liv­ing ever since in a makeshift camp in a strip of un­claimed land be­tween the two coun­tries.

In re­cent weeks they have come un­der pres­sure to re­turn, with a Myan­mar min­is­ter warn­ing of "con­se­quences" if they re­main in no man's land.

But com­mu­nity leader Dil Mo­ham­mad told AFP they would not re­turn with­out guar­an­tees of se­cu­rity, cit­i­zen­ship and com­pen­sa­tion for prop­erty lost in the clam­p­down.

"We are not go­ing to re­turn to our homes and vil­lages in Myan­mar un­less our de­mands are met. We want cit­i­zen­ship, all rights, se­cu­rity to our lives and prop­erty and com­pen­sa­tion," he said.

On Tues­day of­fi­cials from both coun­tries held talks to de­cide the fate of the 6,000 be­fore speak­ing to them di­rectly in no man's land. "Ev­ery per­son we spoke to said that they would go back to their homes if they got se­cu­rity," said the head of the Bangladesh del­e­ga­tion, Ab­dul Man­nan.

A spokes­woman for the UN refugee agency told AFP any re­turns must be vol­un­tary.

"Some mem­bers of this group in no man's land have said they fear re­turn­ing home and wish to seek safety in Bangladesh," Caro­line Gluck said.

"We ap­peal to the Bangladeshi au­thor­i­ties to al­low them to do so. At the same time, Myan­mar should en­sure con­ducive con­di­tions for the safe and sus­tain­able re­turn of those who wish to do so vol­un­tar­ily."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.