Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Slams Myanmar Over Repatriation Of Rohingya Refugees

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday slammed neighbouring Myanmar over delay in the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, who fled violence in the Rakhine province in 2017.

Both the countries had signed a repatriation deal in November 2017. However, no Rohingya refugee has been taken back by Myanmar.

“The problem lies with Myanmar as they don’t want to take back the Rohingyas by any means,” Hasina told at a press conference.

She also criticised international aid agencies working in the refugee camps in the border district of Cox’s Bazar- who object to any forced relocations- saying they are not interested in ending the crisis.

“The problem that I now see is that different international agencies that are providing voluntary services or working at Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar never want any refugee to go back. The principal problem lies here,” she said.

Bangladesh has said it will not force Rohingya to return to Myanmar, where the Muslim minority faced several waves of persecution before the 2017 crackdown which saw widespread murder, mass rapes and arson.

Some 7,40,000 Rohingyas fled the Rakhine state in Myanmar and took shelter in camps set up at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Hasina called for an investigation into the organisers of protests against repatriation that have been held within the squalid camps.

“Who instigated the movement?” she asked.

“Those who provide assistance to Rohingyas have a serious objection, though the government has constructed very beautiful houses and structures at Bhashan Char,” Hasina said of the shelters Bangladesh has built on a barren, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.

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