‘Halt rushed Rohingya repatriation,’ UN urges Myanmar, Bangladesh
Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to start repatriating Rohingya to Rakhine state in November.
Bangladesh and Myanmar should drop plans to start repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Rakhine State as they face a “high risk of persecution”, a top United Nations’ human rights investigator has warned. More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from western Myanmar after a sweeping military crackdown in August 2017. On October 30, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the return of the refugees in mid-November but the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, said conditions in Rakhine State were “not yet conducive for returns”. “I urge the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to halt these rushed plans for repatriation,” Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said on Tuesday, calling on the country to grant the Rohingya their long-sought right to citizenship, freedom of movement and access to public services. Myanmar does not consider the Rohingya a native ethnic group. Many in the Buddhistmajority country call the Rohingya “Bengalis”, suggesting they belong in Bangladesh.