There have been no repatriations of those displaced during the recent war in Rakhine State, despite junta authorities claiming that Burma was ready to take back more than 1,000 Muslim and Hindu Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh, regional communities have told DVB.
“They want to come back. They have registered and applied to be repatriated. I do not know why the Bangladeshi government has not sent them back yet. Burmese authorities sent a letter saying the refugees will return,” Maung Ni, a Hindu community leader, told DVB.
According to the military’s readmission list, 316 of 444 Hindus that fled to Bangladesh are registered to be repatriated along with 711 Muslims.
“The Bangladeshi government does not want to send Rohingya refugees back to Burma; it’s just preparing to ship the refugees to Bhasan Char Island. We are not being asked for our opinion,” Mamat Rawchi, a Rohingya refugee in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar told DVB.
Members of the junta — including Thet Thet Khine, the SAC’s Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement — arrived in Rakhine State in Dec. 2021 to discuss the resettlement process.
Since the Burma Army began its campaign of genocide against the Rohingya in August 2017, an estimated 600,000 Muslim and 444 Hindu Rohingya from at least 100 villages of Rakhine’s Rathedaung, Buthidaung, and Maungdaw townships have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
Two resettlement centers — Taungpyo Letwei and Ngakuya — have been built on the Burmese side of the border in preparation for the refugees’ return. A third, the Hla Pho Khaung resettlement center, is under construction.
The NLD administration previously made two attempts to begin repatriations — on January 23 and November 15, 2018 — yet were allegedly blocked by Bangladeshi authorities.