Rohingya refugees fear returning to Myanmar after coup

Rohingya refugees fear returning to Myanmar after coup

DHAKA – Rohingya refugees from Myanmar residing in camps in Bangladesh condemned the navy coup of their homeland and stated it makes them extra fearful to return.

A counterinsurgency operation by Myanmar’s navy in 2017 involving mass rape, murders and the torching of villages drove greater than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has hosted them in crowded refugee camps and is keen to start sending them again to Buddhist-majority Myanmar. A number of makes an attempt at repatriation underneath a joint settlement failed as a result of the Rohingya refused to go, fearing extra violence in a rustic that denies them fundamental rights together with citizenship.

Refugees stated Tuesday they’re extra afraid now that the navy is in full management.

“The navy killed us, raped our sisters and moms, torched our villages. How is it attainable for us to remain secure underneath their management?” stated Khin Maung, head of the Rohingya Youth Affiliation within the camps in Cox’s Bazar district.


“Any peaceable repatriation will vastly be impacted,” he informed The Related Press. “It would take a very long time as a result of the political scenario in Myanmar is worse now.”

Officers from Myanmar and Bangladesh met final month to debate methods to begin the repatriations, with Bangladesh’s International Ministry seeming extra hopeful of success and officers saying they anticipated to start someday in June.

However refugees stated they completely oppose the navy takeover.

“We strongly condemn the coup. We love democracy and human rights, so we’re frightened about shedding them in our nation,” Maung stated.

“We’re a part of Myanmar, so we really feel the identical as Myanmar’s widespread individuals. We urge the worldwide neighborhood to lift its voice in opposition to the coup,” he stated.

Mohammad Jaffar, 70, stated they’d been ready to return.

“The hope that we had to return has now been interrupted by this variation in regime in Myanmar,” Jaffar stated. “Repatriation won’t be secure in any respect underneath this regime. … Now if we return into the arms of people who find themselves liable for our torture, we are going to in all probability need to bear twice as a lot ache as earlier than.”


One other refugee stated repatriation wouldn’t be attainable now.

“Even when they attempt to repatriate us, we won’t agree to return underneath the present scenario. In the event that they take us again into that regime, they may torture us much more,” Nurul Amin stated.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of International Affairs stated on Monday that it hopes the coup won’t hamper the refugees’ return.

“As a right away and pleasant neighbor, we want to see peace and stability in Myanmar. Now we have been persistent in growing mutually useful relations with Myanmar and have been working with Myanmar for the voluntary, secure and sustained repatriation of the Rohingya sheltered in Bangladesh,” it stated.

The United Nations has described the Myanmar navy crackdown on the Rohingya as a type of genocide. In complete, greater than 1 million refugees are being sheltered by Bangladesh.

Monday’s coup was a dramatic backslide for Myanmar, which was rising from many years of strict navy rule and worldwide isolation that started in 1962.

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