700K Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar within two years

Khafee

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700K Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar within two years
By Sara Shayanian
Jan. 16, 2018

(UPI) -- Bangladesh and Myanmar on Tuesday finalized a two-year timeline to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled from persecution and violence.

The Rohingya Muslim minority will begin to leave Bangladesh, with Myanmar agreeing to accept 1,500 a week with the goal of taking back more than 700,000 refugees within two years.

"We have signed a very positive treaty. After several discussions, Myanmar has agreed to complete the repatriation process preferably within two years from the day it commences," Sufiur Rahman, Bangladesh's ambassador to Myanmar, said.

"We have proposed to repatriate 15,000 Rohingyas every week but they [Myanmar] did not agree to it," he added."They [Myanmar] have taken some preparations for the Rohingyas. They have agreed to take back 300 Rohingyas per day. Some 1,500 Rohingyas will be sent back in a week."

The number of Rohingya sent back every week will increase after three months, Rahman said.

The "physical arrangement" was decided at the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on the return of the displaced Rohingyas from Rakhine State. The meeting was held on Monday and Tuesday in the city of Naypyidaw.

Under the agreement, returnees would be received initially in Myanmar in two reception centers and be temporarily sheltered while officials rebuild the houses for them to move into.

Many displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh, however, remain concerned about returning to Myanmar.

"We are still not clear about what agreement was signed," Sirajul Mostofa, a community leader in a Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazaar, said.

"Our first priority is, they have to grant us citizenship as Rohingyas. Secondly, they have to give back our lands. Thirdly, our security must be ensured internationally. Otherwise, this is not good for us."

A wave of Rohingya migrants began exiting Myanmar last year when military attacks led to widespread violence in Rahkine State -- including allegations of rape, torture and killings.

Last week, Myanmar's military admitted to killing 10 Rohingya Muslims found in a mass grave

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/01/16/700K-Rohingya-refugees-to-return-to-Myanmar-within-two-years/6041516106686/?nll=1
 

Nilgiri

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At current rate of return, it will take 10 years or so to repatriate, rather than 2 years.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42699602

It seems to be very much ongoing, fluid deal. Bear in mind many, if not most Rohingya do not want to go to Myanmar without guarantees (like path to citizenship and 3rd party protection etc), and Myanmar clearly has stipulated only those that want to return (in the existing status quo with no change from MM policy end) are allowed back. Its catch 22 that may well show up quite quickly in the implementation (given how many really want to return and that too have the MM issued ID that MM says is needed). I suspect its only small % of the total refugees that fit these two criteria....the current rate is made to be low maybe to cover for this and give time for political gains on both sides.

Is BD going to force/coerce those that dont want to go to MM under this deal?...and will MM simply reject them or force them back into BD at later date?

Its political pawns all over again.
 

Hithchiker

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At current rate of return, it will take 10 years or so to repatriate, rather than 2 years.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42699602

It seems to be very much ongoing, fluid deal. Bear in mind many, if not most Rohingya do not want to go to Myanmar without guarantees (like path to citizenship and 3rd party protection etc), and Myanmar clearly has stipulated only those that want to return (in the existing status quo with no change from MM policy end) are allowed back. Its catch 22 that may well show up quite quickly in the implementation (given how many really want to return and that too have the MM issued ID that MM says is needed). I suspect its only small % of the total refugees that fit these two criteria....the current rate is made to be low maybe to cover for this and give time for political gains on both sides.

Is BD going to force/coerce those that dont want to go to MM under this deal?...and will MM simply reject them or force them back into BD at later date?

Its political pawns all over again.
Why is it that Mayamar not willing to grant them citizenship i believe they are the son of soil and living there ..
 

Nilgiri

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Why is it that Mayamar not willing to grant them citizenship i believe they are the son of soil and living there ..
Complicated given the waves of immigration. Some are indeed sons of soil (as we would define multi-generation presence), but many arrived much more recently....and one side wants to project all as the former, and the other (MM) side wants to project as all of the latter.

Similar to Bengalis in Pakistan, some arrived in Pakistan well before Bangladesh was formed, and are some of biggest patriots of Pakistan (and have descendants today too), but many have arrived later (largely illegally) during the 70s and 80s etc (of all varying perception of Pakistan).

There are parallels with Tamils in Sri Lanka too (many have been there for millenia, others came during British time).

But issue with sons of soils argument is difficult to sustain when there is so much chasm between the culture and also perceived historic injustice (like how British severed, attached, severed again and reattached pieces of this problem Arakan border area to Bengal and Burma given ownership by Bengal Sultanate and Burmese kingdoms in alternate times prior - that cause some 50/50 historic base population split on ethnic basis too). In Sri Lanka and Pakistan, there is some base kinship between the groups I am talking about culturally (even during SL civil war, colombo was tamil majority city for example, shared customs and religious practices between buddhists and hindus lot of the time).....but next to none exists in Arakan now...everything is just segregated and basically all rohingya are seen as complete foreigner by arakanese and burmese.

Ideally yes people should honestly know better and come to peaceful agreement and then honour that afterwards, but it was never done and it has basically festered. Basically a partition agreement was never achieved in first place like in India and Pakistan (as violent as that was in practice anyway)...with context of how British drew the internal boundaries of the Raj that were just inherited verbatim.
 

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Why is it that Mayamar not willing to grant them citizenship i believe they are the son of soil and living there ..
Are they not citizens of the country? If not then who are they? I know in my country we have around ~1M Burmese and forgive my ignorance but I know nothing about their case.
 

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Are they not citizens of the country? If not then who are they? I know in my country we have around ~1M Burmese and forgive my ignorance but I know nothing about their case.
As far as i know they have not been granted citizenship..but living in the area and are natural inhabitants.
 

Hithchiker

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Complicated given the waves of immigration. Some are indeed sons of soil (as we would define multi-generation presence), but many arrived much more recently....and one side wants to project all as the former, and the other (MM) side wants to project as all of the latter.

Similar to Bengalis in Pakistan, some arrived in Pakistan well before Bangladesh was formed, and are some of biggest patriots of Pakistan (and have descendants today too), but many have arrived later (largely illegally) during the 70s and 80s etc (of all varying perception of Pakistan).

There are parallels with Tamils in Sri Lanka too (many have been there for millenia, others came during British time).

But issue with sons of soils argument is difficult to sustain when there is so much chasm between the culture and also perceived historic injustice (like how British severed, attached, severed again and reattached pieces of this problem Arakan border area to Bengal and Burma given ownership by Bengal Sultanate and Burmese kingdoms in alternate times prior - that cause some 50/50 historic base population split on ethnic basis too). In Sri Lanka and Pakistan, there is some base kinship between the groups I am talking about culturally (even during SL civil war, colombo was tamil majority city for example, shared customs and religious practices between buddhists and hindus lot of the time).....but next to none exists in Arakan now...everything is just segregated and basically all rohingya are seen as complete foreigner by arakanese and burmese.

Ideally yes people should honestly know better and come to peaceful agreement and then honour that afterwards, but it was never done and it has basically festered. Basically a partition agreement was never achieved in first place like in India and Pakistan (as violent as that was in practice anyway)...with context of how British drew the internal boundaries of the Raj that were just inherited verbatim.
Yes , but if we draw analogy lets say Kashmiris are considered Pakistani and Indians on respective side with holding respective nationalities and rights as Pakistani or Indian would have..This is disputed but none has pushed the locals to other side or ethnically clean the area..
Rohingyas are natural inhabitant and might not share cultural or regional coherence with Burmese but yet they are living on the land..
 

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Yes , but if we draw analogy lets say Kashmiris are considered Pakistani and Indians on respective side with holding respective nationalities and rights as Pakistani or Indian would have..This is disputed but none has pushed the locals to other side or ethnically clean the area..
Rohingyas are natural inhabitant and might not share cultural or regional coherence with Burmese but yet they are living on the land..
Kashmir is kind of unique, it was recognised kingdom etc at time the dispute started.....whereas British had already settled that Rakhine state is part of Burma...and chittagong gets attached to Bengal etc (both combine to make the former greater Arakan area)....there was no kingdom at the partition time basically...and already a delineated pre-radcliffe internal border that got inherited. So there is no special status for these two areas in their respective countries, neither do each claim ownership of the other area, a case of more formalisation leading to more nastiness on the ground. Maybe some parallel to Kashmir pandit exodus but they had easy route to turn into IDP rather than cross a border per se.

Also Burmese have not forgotten that the Rohingya leaders in large number called for Pakistan to intervene, invade Arakan and preserve the muslim majority demographic there during late 60s after they saw war can be effective political tool (when Burma was negotiating what the citizenship process for Rohingya and others would look like, their was even Rohingya members of govt etc at that time). I believe thats the main thing that encapsulated rohingya minority as different and essentially foreign to the other minorities (some of whom have waged their own wars) in Burma in eyes of the Bamar majority. Like yes Kokang have taken some aid from China (given they are ethnic chinese) and Karen and others from Thailand....but essentially they wanted more autonomy and better representation in the federal structure of Burma (at least as Bamar perceive it), rather than calling for full invasion by the respective supporting countries.

It would be tantamount to say Baloch leaders calling for India to intervene in their case quite openly when Pakistan felt fragile (and was in negotiation at the time to come to a solid peace).....or same if Sikh leaders in India etc. (And I mean in levels of near 100% - unlike the small amount that happened in both). That memory would definitely last among the majority of rest of country right?...and I dont think anyone would be surprised when the animosity resurfaces with some sparks.

Its complicated history, way I see it Rohingya had opportunities to play their hand better much earlier, and they messed it up badly and now there is just too many chips with the Burmese side as a result so they just do attrition style tactics now and win the full pot. Vast majority of Burmese back their military response in this affair, its even higher among the Arakan buddhists. It will actually be somewhat authoritarian on Burma military part to fight against their own people majority opinion now. The effects on individual lives can be cruel, but this highlights the importance of having good well visioned but pragmatic leaders at the right important time....that can stay their own reactionary feelings. But hindsight is also 20/20.
 

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Kashmir is kind of unique, it was recognised kingdom etc at time the dispute started.....whereas British had already settled that Rakhine state is part of Burma...and chittagong gets attached to Bengal etc (both combine to make the former greater Arakan area)....there was no kingdom at the partition time basically...and already a delineated pre-radcliffe internal border that got inherited. So there is no special status for these two areas in their respective countries, neither do each claim ownership of the other area, a case of more formalisation leading to more nastiness on the ground. Maybe some parallel to Kashmir pandit exodus but they had easy route to turn into IDP rather than cross a border per se.

Also Burmese have not forgotten that the Rohingya leaders in large number called for Pakistan to intervene, invade Arakan and preserve the muslim majority demographic there during late 60s after they saw war can be effective political tool (when Burma was negotiating what the citizenship process for Rohingya and others would look like, their was even Rohingya members of govt etc at that time). I believe thats the main thing that encapsulated rohingya minority as different and essentially foreign to the other minorities (some of whom have waged their own wars) in Burma in eyes of the Bamar majority. Like yes Kokang have taken some aid from China (given they are ethnic chinese) and Karen and others from Thailand....but essentially they wanted more autonomy and better representation in the federal structure of Burma (at least as Bamar perceive it), rather than calling for full invasion by the respective supporting countries.

It would be tantamount to say Baloch leaders calling for India to intervene in their case quite openly when Pakistan felt fragile (and was in negotiation at the time to come to a solid peace).....or same if Sikh leaders in India etc. (And I mean in levels of near 100% - unlike the small amount that happened in both). That memory would definitely last among the majority of rest of country right?...and I dont think anyone would be surprised when the animosity resurfaces with some sparks.

Its complicated history, way I see it Rohingya had opportunities to play their hand better much earlier, and they messed it up badly and now there is just too many chips with the Burmese side as a result so they just do attrition style tactics now and win the full pot. Vast majority of Burmese back their military response in this affair, its even higher among the Arakan buddhists. It will actually be somewhat authoritarian on Burma military part to fight against their own people majority opinion now. The effects on individual lives can be cruel, but this highlights the importance of having good well visioned but pragmatic leaders at the right important time....that can stay their own reactionary feelings. But hindsight is also 20/20.
will dig it more and come back then...thanks for thorough writing
 

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Rohingya refugees face immense health needs; UN scales up support ahead of monsoon season
20 February 2018

Critical health services must be scaled up for nearly 1.3 million people – Rohingyas and their surrounding host communities – in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar, where vulnerable populations in crowded settlements and 'mega camps' are at risk of a host of waterborne diseases, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warned Tuesday.

"Commendable efforts have been made by the Government of Bangladesh and partner agencies to provide health services; prevent diseases such as cholera; and rapidly control outbreaks of measles and diphtheria. However, the challenges are huge, multiple and evolving," said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for (WHO) South-East Asia.

"The magnitude of the crisis requires continued efforts and generous contributions by all partners to scale up health services for the vulnerable population," she added.

One of the largest population movements in the shortest time span began 25 August when an estimated 688,000 Rohingyas crossed from Myanmar to Cox's Bazar – joining nearly 212,500 others who had arrived in earlier waves.

Health needs continue to be immense, particularly surrounding reproductive care. Some 60,000 children are expected to be born in the camps over the next year. Besides mothers, newborns and children, the elderly need basic health services, including for trauma and various non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and psychosocial support.

"Water and sanitation, and shelter continues to be far from optimum, increasing the risk of rapid spread of several communicable and water borne diseases," the Regional Director said, stressing the need to accelerate efforts to address the key determinants of health on a priority.

The upcoming rainy season increases the vulnerability to waterborne diseases, such as diarrhea and hepatitis, and vector borne diseases, including malaria, dengue and chikungunya.

When the crisis first began, WHO established the Early Warning and Response System (EWARS) for rapid detection and response to disease outbreaks to minimize death and disease, which along with risk assessments, prompted Bangladesh to carry out large scale vaccination campaigns for cholera, measles and rubella, polio and diphtheria.

"The health sector is grossly under-funded and grappling to meet the needs of the affected population," Dr. Khetrapal Singh said, appealing to international community to contribute generously and commit to support what clearly is set to be a protracted emergency.

Living in 'no man's land'

At the same time, Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned on "the situation of several thousand Rohingya who have been living in a so-called 'no man's land' near the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh" since end-August.

"We estimate there are some 1,300 families, approximately 5,300 men, women, boys and girls living in the area near Tombru canal," he stated, noting that some feared returning home and wished to seek safety in Bangladesh.

He reiterated that everyone has the right to seek asylum, just as they also have the right to return home when they deem the time and circumstances right.

"People who have fled violence in their country must be guaranteed safety and protection, and must be consulted on their future," he underscored.

Meanwhile, ahead of the monsoon season, UNHCR and partners continue to step up preparations to protect refugees, including encouraging those most at risk of floods and landslides to relocate to other areas.

"UNHCR staff are facilitating community engagement in preparedness efforts, in particular on appropriate messaging to communities likely to be affected by landslides, floods or cyclones, and analyzing community coping mechanisms and preparedness plans," he concluded.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/02/1003122
 

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U.N. fears as many as 30 Rohingya killed in Myanmar assault
APRIL 9, 2019
By Clyde Hughes


Hundreds of Rohingya enter Bangladesh from Budichong, Myanmar, in 2017. File Photo by Abir Abdullah/EPA-EFE

April 9 (UPI) -- A deadly aerial assault against Rohingya Muslims last week appears to have killed many more than the Myanmar government reported, the United Nations human rights office said Tuesday.

The helicopter attack by the Myanmar military killed many Rohingya in Rakhine State. The government said six people died, but the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said as many as 30 were killed.

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said the office has reason to believe a higher death toll.
"We are now receiving reports that the number may be much higher," Shamdasani said.

Witnesses said military choppers began firing on Rohingya as they collected bamboo last Wednesday. Myanmar later confirmed the strike and said six had died as part of an anti-terrorist operation. The OHCHR disputes the terror link and said the attack may constitute a war crime.

Myanmar's military has been targeting the Arakan Army, a Buddhist insurgent group that's demanding political autonomy in Rakhine State. The OHCHR said the fighting has increased in the province in recent weeks and as many as 20,000 Rohingya have been displaced.

Violence against Muslim Rohingya began two years ago and the United Nations has said the campaign of violence amounts of "ethnic cleansing." Human rights officials say more than 700,000 Rohingya have been displaced so far and 10,000 have been killed. Tens of thousands have fled to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh said last month it will stop accepting Rohingya after about one million. Many remain in camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/04/09/UN-fears-as-many-as-30-Rohingya-killed-in-Myanmar-assault/4831554811215/
 

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The UN failed miserably to shoulder its responsibilities. What would you expect for a corrupt entity?
 
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