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Rohingya Refuse to Return to Myanmar as Bangladesh Repatriation Efforts Stall


DHAKAAn attempt to begin repatriating thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in camps in Bangladesh stalled on Thursday after nearly 300 refugee families refused to go back to Myanmar. A similar effort almost a year ago also failed amid protests.

Last week, the two states said they had agreed August 22 as the start date for the return of 3,450 people cleared by Myanmar. They are part of more than 730,000 who fled a military crackdown in Rakhine state in 2017, and now shelter in the sprawling camps, Reuters said.

UN staff and Bangladesh officials have been interviewing those cleared for return, selected from a list of more than 22,000 sent by Bangladesh to Myanmar. None of the 295 families consulted until now had agreed to go back, said a Bangladesh relief official, Mohammad Abul Kalam.

Myanmar authorities say they are ready to receive any who return, but refugees have refused to go back for fear of further violence.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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