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Myanmar calls for ‘smooth repatriation’ of Rohingya

Myanmar calls for ‘smooth repatriation’ of Rohingya
A Rohingya refugee boy has his hair cut at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Yangon, Aug 24 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/24/2019 12:16:40 PM IST

Myanmar government has called on Bangladesh to adhere to the bilateral agreement for smooth repatriation of displaced persons from Rakhine state.

The call came after an attempt (by Bangladesh) to repatriate 3,450 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar failed, said a press release of the Myanmar Foreign Ministry late on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Talking about the failure of the second round for repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, Myanmar Minister of Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe and Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Win Myat Aye said on Friday that the Foreign Ministry was informed by Dhaka on August 19 that their side undertook all necessary measures to smoothly conduct the repatriation on Thursday.

Bangladeshi officials earlier said that Rohingya refugees remain reluctant to return to their homeland because they fear for their safety.

An earlier bid for Rohingya repatriation in November 2018 had also failed due to the lack of volunteers.

The Myanmar government considers Rohingya illegal immigrants from Bangladesh even though they have been in the country for centuries. Most Rohingya in Myanmar were stripped of their citizenship in the early 1990s.

Their mass exodus began almost two years ago when a Rohingya rebel group carried out a series of attacks against security posts in Rakhine state in western Myanmar, which unleashed a brutal campaign by the country’s Army against the community. 

UN observers described the Army crackdown as “ethnic cleansing”.

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