November 15, 2018: When Bangladesh began its Rohingya repatriation programme

November 17, 2018 08:32 pm | Updated 08:38 pm IST

Rohingya refugees shout slogans against repatriation at Unchiprang camp near Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh on November 15, 2018.

Rohingya refugees shout slogans against repatriation at Unchiprang camp near Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh on November 15, 2018.

On the first day of a planned repatriation programme, Rohingya refugees refused to return to Myanmar. Crowds gathered at camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar on Thursday to protest against the send-off to transit camps and then on to “reception centres.” According to BBC reports, under a deal between Bangladesh and Myanmar, authorities wanted to move some 2,000 Rohingya to a camp in Myanmar on November 15. As the countdown began, the UN and rights groups reiterated that no one be forced to return as "the situation in Myanmar is not safe." UN-mandated investigators have accused the Myanmar Army of "genocidal intent";

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees shout slogans as they protest against their repatriation at the Unchiprang camp in Teknaf, Bangladesh November 15, 2018.

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees shout slogans as they protest against their repatriation at the Unchiprang camp in Teknaf, Bangladesh November 15, 2018.

 

Myanmar denies the allegations. Over 7,00,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the past 15 months to escape violence in Rakhine State. “We can’t force them to go back,” Abul Kalam, head of Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission, said.

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