Dhaka, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi leaders Speaking to visitors on Wednesday, UN officials announced that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, an ethnic minority living in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, must return to Myanmar after fleeing a wave of violent persecution.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made comments to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka. Bachelet arrived on Sunday to visit a Rohingya camp in the Cox's Bazar district near the border with Myanmar.
"The Rohingya are Myanmar citizens and we must bring them back," Hasina was reportedly told by spokeswoman Issanul Karim.
Rohingya Muslims face widespread discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, with most being denied citizenship and many other rights. At the end of August 2017, more than 700,000 people fled to Bangladesh as the Myanmar military launched a “clearance operation” against the country following attacks by rebels. The security situation in Myanmar has deteriorated since the military takeover last year.
Bangladesh now hosts more than one million of her Rohingya refugees.
The refugee marks his fifth anniversary from the recent influx into Bangladesh, following a failed attempt to return. Earlier this month, Bangladesh asked China for help in repatriating Rohingya to Myanmar during a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. China brokered a deal with Myanmar in November 2017 to send them back.
Hasina and several of his ministers have previously expressed frustration at the Myanmar government's failure to take back the government under the agreement. The United Nations and Bangladeshi authorities made at least two attempts to repatriate the refugees, but the refugees refused to return, citing security concerns in Myanmar.
When Bachelet visited the camp on Wednesday, the refugees urged the United Nations to improve security in Myanmar and allow them to return home.
In a statement, the United Nations said the refugees described to Bachelet "their grievances, their pain."
"If our rights were respected, we could earn a living again, get land, and feel part of the country. We can,' the refugee told her.
"The United Nations is doing its best to help them. We will continue to do that," she said. “But we also need to address the deep-seated issues of the problem.
In March the United States decreed that the repression of the Rohingya in Myanmar amounted to genocide after authorities confirmed reports of massive atrocities against civilians by Myanmar's military in a widespread and coordinated campaign against ethnic minorities. said to do.
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