Repatriation plan stalls as Rohingyas refuse to go back to Myanmar

A second attempt to repatriate the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh to Myanmar has hit a snag as the refugees remain reluctant to return to their homeland.

The repatriation efforts will continue until 4pm Thursday, said Refugee Repatriation and Relief Commissioner Md Abul Kalam, adding that the authorities stand ready to repatriate anyone willing to return to Myanmar before the deadline.

Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Abul Kalam on Thursday said, “We have made all the necessary arrangements. We are interviewing 3,540 people from 1039 families on the repatriation list.”

But none of the Rohingyas are willing to return on their own volition, he said.

A failure to initiate the repatriation process will mark a second setback in the efforts to resolve two-and-a-half-year long crisis.

On Nov 15 last year, preparations were in place to send the Rohingyas home but they flatly refused to return, owing to concerns over the situation in Myanmar.

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But Foreign Minister AK Momen is refusing to call off the efforts. Speaking to reporters at his office in Dhaka, the minister said, “We remain hopeful. It’s Myanmar’s problem and they need to resolve it. We won’t force anything.”