No progress in repatriation of Rohingya refugees

August 16, 2018

TEHRAN - The Bangladesh government officials who were in Myanmar to resolve the crisis related to Rohingya refugees have returned without making any significant progress, according to media reports.

A 15-member delegation led by Foreign Minister AH Mehmood Ali visited Myanmar between Thursday and Saturday in what was the first state-sponsored high-profile visit to Myanmar since the persecuted Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh a year ago.

A report in Anadolu News Agency quoted Commissioner of Bangladesh Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission Abul Kalam saying that the visit was “positive”, however he could not mention any visible progress.

Human rights activists in Bangladesh have called for quick resolution of the crisis, saying that the Rohingya people continued to live in inhumane conditions.

On Monday evening, the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque said “date has not been fixed yet for starting the process (of repatriation)”. Repatriation to any country is a very “complex and difficult” issue which cannot be done overnight, he added.

As per conservative estimates, there are around 905,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar presently, although some human rights bodies have put the figure higher. The exodus of persecuted Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state started in October 2016, when almost 200,000 of them fled to neighboring Bangladesh.

In August last year, more than 720,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh en masse to escape persecution, murder, arson and rape. . The savagery in Rakhine was described by the United Nations as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

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