Attacks on Rohingyas continue, unsafe for refugees to go back to Myanmar, says UN official
Dhaka, Jan 26: Days after Bangladesh decided to postpone the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, a senior official of the United Nations (UN) stated that it is still not safe for the refugees to go back to their homeland.
The official indicated that attacks on Rohingya Muslims appear to be continuing in Myanmar and thus it's not advisable for the refugees from Bangladesh to go back to their native country.
"Many Rohingyas want to return eventually to their villages in Myanmar. But they fear for their safety if they were to go back now," UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth was quoted as saying by AP.
Forsyth recently visited the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox Bazar.
"The situation isn't safe for the returns to begin," he said. "I spoke to one young woman who had been on the phone to her aunt in Rakhine in Myanmar. And they were attacking villages even today."
On Monday, just a day before the beginning of the much-discussed repatriation process of Muslim Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, all of a sudden Bangladesh decided to postpone sending them back to their native country.
It was after several rounds of talks and negotiations, both Bangladesh and Myanmar decided to start the repatriation of Rohingyas from January 23. Currently, the whole process has been postponed indefinitely, say reports.
An official from Bangladesh told AP, "The process of compiling and verifying the list of people to be sent back is incomplete, transit camps where they will stay are not yet ready and a number of issues remain unresolved."
On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar "finalised an agreement" to send back thousands of Rohingya refugees to their homeland in Myanmar from their temporary 'home' in Bangladesh.
Since August last year, at least 688,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar after violence broke out in the Rakhine State and have taken shelter in Bangladesh.
According to the agreement, the whole repatriation process would have lasted for two years as it involves millions of refugees.