Government: Myanmar Repatriates First Rohingya Refugee Family

Clay Curtis
April 16, 2018

He said Bangladesh has given them temporary shelter on humanitarian ground.

The home minister said some 6000 Rohingyas are living on the zero line along Bangladesh-Myanmar border, and they are not inside Bangladesh.

Since August a year ago, more than half a million Rohingya have undertaken perilous journeys to Bangladesh to flee persecution and violence in Myanmar.

The UNHCR also urged the Myanmar Government to immediately provide full and unhindered access to refugees places of origin in Rakhine, which would enable it to assess the situation and provide information to refugees about conditions in the places of origin, as well as to monitor any possible future return and reintegration of refugees.

Over one million Rohingyas have taken refuge in Bangladesh fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar, 700,000 of them coming since last August.

A handout photo released by Myanmar News Agency on April. 15, 2018, shows Myanmar immigration official hands over identification documents to an unidentified Rohingya woman belonging to a five-member Rohingya family at Taungpyoletwei town repatriation camp in Maungdaw near Bangladesh border.

The statement did not say if any more repatriations are being planned. The U.S. government and the United Nations describe the violence against the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing".

Last week, the most senior United Nations official to visit Myanmar this year, assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Ursula Mueller, said the conditions in Myanmar were not conducive to the return of the refugees.

Jammu Bar Association seeks compensation for Kathua victim's family
Earlier, lawyers of the Jammu and Kathua Bar Associations tried preventing a woman lawyer from appearing for the victim's family . She has forwarded it to J&K Governor Kathua rape and murder case. "Our agitation was meant to ensure justice to the victim".

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation agreement on 23 November 2017.

On Saturday the UN's refugee agency said in a statement that conditions are not yet conducive for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees. "The responsibility for creating such conditions remains with the Myanmar authorities, and these must go beyond the preparation of physical infrastructure to facilitate logistical arrangements", the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement.

"Another practical measure would be to ease restrictions on movement for the internally displaced persons encamped in the central townships of Rakhine state, which would also help to build confidence among refugees in Bangladesh", it added.

Official repatriation was due to start in January but this is the first family to return.

Bob Rae, Canada's special envoy to Myanmar, says the meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi about the Rohingya refugee crisis was "candid", but says Canada will continue to press for solutions.

"We look forward to India's continued support in the global arena for the early return of these forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals", he said.

Rohingya who have been repatriated in the past have been forced to live in camps in Myanmar.

Rights groups have criticised the announcement as a publicity stunt and Bangladesh has distanced itself, saying the repatriation was not part of the return process the two countries have been trying to start.

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