External Affairs

Rohingya Refugees Still Fleeing Myanmar for Bangladesh

Newly arrived Rohingya refugees climb on a truck to get registered after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. November 23, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Susana Vera

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees continue to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh even though both countries set up a timetable last month to allow them to start returning home, the UNHCR said on Thursday.

The number of refugees appears to have slowed. 625,000 have arrived since August 25th this year. 30,000 came last month and around 1,500 arrived last week, UNHCR said.

“The refugee emergency in Bangladesh is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world,” said deputy high commissioner Kelly Clements. “Conditions in Myanmar‘s Rakhine State are not in place to enable a safe and sustainable return … refugees are still fleeing.”

“Most have little or nothing to go back to. Their homes and villages have been destroyed. Deep divisions between communities remain unaddressed and human access is inadequate,” she said.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on November 23rd to start the return of Rohingya Muslims within two months. It was not decided when the process would be complete.

Myanmar‘s security forces may be guilty of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, according to the UN. Buddhist Myanmar denies the Muslim Rohingya are its citizens and considers them foreigners.

UNHCR will make a fresh appeal to donors for funds after the end of February 2018, Clements said.

(Reuters)