Hundreds of Rohingya refugees protests in Bangladesh against repatriation move

Vastavam web: Hundreds of Rohingya refugees staged protests in Bangladesh against plans to send them back to Myanmar, where a military crackdown last year sparked a mass exodus.The refugees chanted slogans and held banners demanding citizenship and guarantees of security before they return to their home state of Rakhine in Myanmar.Bangladesh has reached an agreement with Myanmar to send back the around 750,000 refugees who have arrived since October 2016 over the next two years, a process set to begin as early as next week.

But many Rohingya living in the crowded, unsanitary camps have said they do not want to return to Rakhine after fleeing atrocities including murder, rape and arson attacks on their homes.The government has said it is building temporary camps to accommodate the returnees, a prospect feared by Rohingya, said Mohibullah, a refugee and former teacher.”We want safe zones in Arakan (Rakhine) before repatriation,” he told AFP by phone from Cox’s Bazar, where the camps are located.Police said they were unaware of the protests.A Bangladesh official said around 6,500 Rohingya currently living in no man’s land between the two countries would be among the first to be repatriated.