Repatriation process halted as Rohingyas unwilling to return

COX'S BAZAR, Despite completion of all-out preparations to start the repatriation process of forcibly displaced Rohingya people, they did not want to return to their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

This time, Rohingya repatriation is not possible as none of the listed Rohingyas expressed willingness to go back to their country, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said while talking to journalists at Shalbagan 26 No. Rohingya Camp at Teknaf today.

He said if any of the listed Rohingyas voluntarily want to go back to Myanmar, he or she will be sent. But, Bangladesh will not force any of them to go back, he aded.

The UNHCR and the Repatriation Commissioner's Office began interview of 3,450 listed Rohingyas on Tuesday and interviewed 295 families of Rohingyas in three days, but no one wanted to return, Kalam said.

The much-awaited repatriation process of Rohingys was scheduled to begin today.

The Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner's (RRRC) Office and the UN refugee agency UNHCR took all preparations including the security measures for the repatriation of Rohingyas.

Myanmar authorities cleared a list of 3,999 Rohingyas of 1,038 families for first phase of repatriation.

Two transit camps at Keruntali and Ghumdhum points along the frontiers were repaired for beginning the repatriation.

As part of the repatriation, a meeting of the national task force for Rohingya repatriation was held on August 18 at the Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner in Cox's Bazar.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country since August 25, 2017.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)