Myanmar building, but no sign Rohingya are returning

Myanmar building, but no sign Rohingya are returning

Myanmar building, but no sign Rohingya are returning

The repatriation deal that would see hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in Bangladesh refugee camps returning to Myanmar has been delayed after a list verifying the details of the returning people was unable to be completed by Bangladeshi authorities.

Myanmar officials and security forces stood near the barb-wired border fence at the transition camp, but Rohingya in Bangladesh said they've seen no major preparation for refugees to return safely to their destroyed homes in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine.

Tensions have soared in recent days in the overcrowded Bangladeshi camps housing the Rohingya with many refugees refusing to return to Myanmar. But Bangladesh said it needs more time to prepare for the transfer.

Myanmar says it's ready for a gradual repatriation.

"Although the Bangladesh government hasn't contacted us regarding refugees' return, we have to continue working on the agreement Bangladesh and Myanmar have reached", Zaw Htay, director-general of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's office, told Radio Free Asia on January 22.

He said that some 6,000 refugees, who are now in no man's land between the two countries, were likely to be the first sent to the camps being set up in Myanmar.

"I support the Rohingyas that's why I did not go".

He is not the only one to welcome the postponement, with the head of the United Nation's refugee agency UNHCR stating that more time was needed to prepare if the repatriation was to be effective in the long-term.

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Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed earlier this month to complete a voluntary repatriation of the refugees in two years.

"I think everybody wants to return home in the long haul, but they want to be able to return home when it's safe to do so".

He said he was "taken aback" by the disparagement of the media, the United Nations, human rights groups and the worldwide community and alarmed by the "lack of sincerity" with which the issue of Rohingya citizenship was discussed.

"We are doing our work".

Many have fled to Bangladesh, where they live in squalid camps; others have remained trapped in Rakhine.

"We are right now at the border ready to receive, if the Bangladeshis bring them to our side", Kyaw Tin, minister of global cooperation, told reporters in Naypyidaw, Myanmar's capital. "They told me they were coming from Myanmar to get to Kutupalong (refugee) camp".

Thaung Tun said Myanmar is now prepared to receive 300 returnees a day and "the number could increase based on the progress of the first batch that will be coming across".

"As of today, the necessary safeguards for potential returnees are absent, and there are continued restrictions on access for aid agencies, the media and other independent observers", UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said in Geneva on Tuesday.

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