clear
Friday April 20th, 2018 12:48AM

Bangladesh rejects Myanmar's claim of repatriating Rohingya

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh on Monday rejected a claim by Myanmar that the Buddhist-majority nation had repatriated the first five among some 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled to the neighboring country to escape military-led violence against the minority group.

A Myanmar government statement said Saturday that five members of a family had returned to western Rakhine state from the border area. It said the family was staying temporarily with relatives in Maungdaw town, the administrative center close to the border.

The statement said authorities determined whether they had lived in Myanmar and provided them with a national verification card. The card is a form of ID, but does not mean citizenship — something Rohingya have been denied in Myanmar, where they've faced persecution for decades.

The statement did not say whether any more repatriations were being planned. Bangladesh has given Myanmar a list of more than 8,000 refugees to begin the repatriations, but there have been delays due to a complicated verification process.

On Monday, Bangladesh's home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, said Myanmar's claim that the family had been "repatriated" was false, noting that the family had never reached Bangladeshi territory.

Khan said Myanmar's move was "nothing but a farce."

"I hope Myanmar will take all the Rohingya families back within the shortest possible time," he said.

Bangladesh's refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner, Abul Kalam, said the Rohingya family involved had never crossed the border.

"By no definition can this be called repatriation. No repatriation has taken place," he said by phone from Cox's Bazar. "Bangladesh is no way part of it."

Cox's Bazar is a district in Bangladesh where camps have been set up to shelter the Rohingya.

Asif Munier, an independent refugee expert who had handled the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh for years as part of the United Nations, said Myanmar's claim was a public relations stunt.

"They are doing it again and again," he said. "Bangladesh's government and the international community must ask Myanmar for an explanation for this move. While there is a bilateral process going on and international agencies are involved, such a move by Myanmar is again very unfortunate and unexpected."

Myanmar's security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of the homes of Rohingya villagers after insurgents attacked about 30 police outposts on Aug. 25. The United Nations and the United States have described the army crackdown as "ethnic cleansing."

About 700,000 Rohingya Muslims flooded into neighboring Bangladesh to escape the violence.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in December to begin repatriating them in January, but there were concerns among aid workers and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Myanmar.

On Friday, the U.N. refugee agency and Bangladesh finalized a memorandum of understanding that said the repatriation process must be "safe, voluntary and dignified ... in line with international standards."

UNHCR said it "considers that conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive for returns to be safe, dignified, and sustainable. The responsibility for creating such conditions remains with the Myanmar authorities, and these must go beyond the preparation of physical infrastructure to facilitate logistical arrangements."

Rohingya Muslims have long been treated as outsiders in Myanmar, even though their families have lived in the country for generations. Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless. They are denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bangladesh rejects Myanmar's claim of repatriating Rohingya
Bangladesh has rejected a claim by Myanmar that the Buddhist-majority nation has repatriated the first five among some 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape military-led violence against the minority group
1:58AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Comey says it possible Russians have leverage over Trump
Former FBI Director James Comey says he thinks it's possible the Russians have compromising information on President Donald Trump and that there is "some evidence of obstruction of justice" in the president's actions
1:50AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Question of sales tax on online purchases goes to high court
A case before the Supreme Court could change the longstanding rule that businesses shipping merchandise to a state where it doesn't have a physical presence doesn't have to collect the state's sales tax
1:39AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
China, Japan resume economic talks after 8-year hiatus
China and Japan have resumed high-level economic talks after nearly eight years in a sign of improving ties in their often-frosty relationship
11:23PM ( 3 hours ago )
US to hit Russia with new sanctions for aiding Syria's Assad
The United States intends to impose new economic sanctions on Russia for enabling the Syrian government of Bashar Assad and its chemical weapons program
10:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump informs Congress of reasons for strike
President Donald Trump has informed Congress in writing of his decision to order a U.S. missile strike against Syria
6:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP World News
Comey says it possible Russians have leverage over Trump
Former FBI Director James Comey says he thinks it's possible the Russians have compromising information on President Donald Trump and that there is "some evidence of obstruction of justice" in the president's actions
1:50AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Question of sales tax on online purchases goes to high court
A case before the Supreme Court could change the longstanding rule that businesses shipping merchandise to a state where it doesn't have a physical presence doesn't have to collect the state's sales tax
1:39AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Feds: Increase medication-based treatment for opioids
Building on Obama-era policy, Trump administration sees medication-based treatment as key to lowering overdose deaths from opioids
1:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
3 of a kind: Vegas tips Kings 3-2, closes in on series sweep
The Vegas Golden Knights beat Los Angeles 3-2 and took a 3-0 lead over the Kings in their first-round series
1:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
Colon perfect into 8th, Rangers beat Astros 3-1 in 10
Bartolo Colon carried a perfect game into the eighth inning and Robinson Chirinos drove in all three runs for the Texas Rangers during their 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros in 10 innings
1:29AM ( 1 hour ago )