Myanmar on Tuesday came down heavily on Bangladesh blaming the latter for the delay in the repatriation of Rohingya refugees which was scheduled to begin Wednesday.
However, the United Nations had warned of possible backlash in the form of renewed violence with the refugees returning to strife-torn Rakhine state in Myanmar, according to the Bangkok Post report.
Earlier in November last year, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and agreed to form a joint working committees within three weeks to work on repatriating the more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh after a military crackdown triggered by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacks on security posts in northern Rakhine State in late August last year.
Myanmar through a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh agreed on taking back the Rohingyas from January 23 who had fled since 2016 and sought shelter in the filthy camps huddled in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district.
However, the Bangladesh commissioner of refugee relief and rehabilitation, Abul Kalam said on Monday last that the return would be delayed as ‘there are many things remaining’ adding, ‘the list of people to be sent back is yet to be prepared, their verification and setting up of transit camps has not been completed’.
Meanwhile, Myanmar has also been criticized for drawing out the repatriation process by agreeing to take back just 1,500 people a week, the report added.
According to Myanmar officials, returnees will be accommodated at a camp in Hla Po Khaung in northern Rakhine State, while their houses burned in clashes are reconstructed.
It is learnt the decision from Bangladesh to delay the repatriation process has been prompted by apprehensions of the refugees about their security in Myanmar camps.