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22 January 2018, 01:50 | Darrell Baldwin
Bangladesh, Myanmar plan Rohingya repatriation in 2 years
There have been more than 2,500 cases of suspected diphtheria, including 1,900 children, in camps accommodating Rohingya. A spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency said that the Rohingya should voluntarily return only when they feel that it is safe to do so.
According to the agreement, which was finalised in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw this week, a two-year deadline has been set for the repatriation of the Rohingya.
A group of refugees at the Kutupalong Rohingya camp near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh expressed doubt about the camps Myanmar has agreed to establish on its side of the border.
Arif Hossein, a former teacher in a Myanmar government school who fled to the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh after violence erupted last August, said he would return if the worldwide organizations working to protect the refugees are able to go along.
Though Burma's army claimed it was a clearance operation against the terrorists, the United Nations, United States and others have said the operations were "ethnic cleansing" to remove the Rohingya from the country, also known as Myanmar. Myanmar will then shelter the Rohingya in temporary accommodations while rebuilding houses for them. "Bangladesh authorities also need to proceed with the paperwork and documents for refugees and send it to us fast". Anyone who fears persecution on return to Myanmar must be afforded the right to seek asylum in Bangladesh, consistent with worldwide law.
The United Nations estimates that more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August of past year to avoid violence and the military crackdown in Rakhine.
The all-party worldwide development select committee also urged British ministers to "reflect on why so much evidence of discrimination, marginalisation, and abuse of the Rohingya people in Myanmar was seemingly ignored for so long, rather than translated into effective action by the global community".
Myanmar officials plan to start the repatriation process next Tuesday.
The incident on August 25 led to a violent military operation in Myanmar against the alleged insurgents, triggering a humanitarian crisis as at least 650,000 people from the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority community fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.
"These shocking killings are yet another example of Myanmar security forces' contempt for human life", Gomez said.
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