Myanmar delegation visits Rohingya camps for deportation scheme

A Myanmar government team visited Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on Thursday, May 26. The visit is supposedly a part of a proposed deportation scheme.

Most of the refugees have been stuck in ramshackle camps in southeastern Bangladesh since fleeing in 2017.

Several previous deportation attempts have failed. Still, Bangladesh and Myanmar are looking to return around 1,100 people to the violence-wracked state of Rakhine in the coming weeks.

The team of 14 Myanmar officials arrived by boat in the Bangladeshi border town on Thursday morning. The officials then went to the camps and talked to around 200 people.

One Rohingya who is meant to be deported in the pilot project told AFP, that they did not want to go back and live in Myanmar “as non-citizens and stay in IDP camps”.

“Our place should be given back to us. Our right to live like other ethnic groups should be legally guaranteed. Otherwise, we cannot believe the mass murderers,” they said.

Last week, Human Rights Watch criticized the plan, saying it posed “grave risks” to the Rohingya.

“Bangladesh is frustrated with its burden as host, but sending refugees back to the control of a ruthless Myanmar junta will just be setting the stage for the next devastating emigration,” the group said in a statement.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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