Human Rights Watch (HRW) has suggested Bangladesh and Myanmar to suspend the bilateral plan on Rohingya repatriation saying it threatens the refugees’ security and well-being, reports UNB.
The New-York-based global rights body urged the two countries to renegotiate the repatriation agreement because of numerous flaws that endanger refugees’ lives; the impossible timetable for voluntary, safe, and sustainable returns; and the failure to involve the UN refugee agency.
On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar announced an agreement that provides additional details on a plan that would repatriate over 770,000 mostly Rohingya Muslims who left Myanmar’s Rakhine State since October 2016.
The majority fled a Burmese military campaign of ethnic cleansing that began in late August.
“Rohingya refugees shouldn’t be returned to camps guarded by the very same Burmese forces who forced them to flee massacres and gang rapes, and torched villages,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The repatriation plan appears to be a public relations ploy to hide the fact that Burma has not taken measures to ensure safe and sustainable returns.”
The Myanmar authorities have shown no ability to ensure the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees as provided by international standards, Human Rights Watch said.