The United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned that the necessary conditions in Burma (Myanmar) for the repatriation of rohinyas refugees in neighboring Bangladesh, whose start is scheduled for next Thursday.
The authorities of Dhaka and Naipyido agreed that the repatriation of 2,251 of the 723,000 Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh begins in a phased manner on Thursday, the 15th.
The Burmese authorities have built several shelters in the Rakáin state (former Arakan), the homeland where the Rohingya fled last year after an army campaign labeled "ethnic cleansing" with signs of genocide by the UN.
"Although UNHCR does not believe that conditions in the Rakáin state are sufficient for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees in Bangladesh, we remain committed to supporting the Government of Myanmar in its efforts to create these conditions," UNHCR said. a statement released this Sunday.
The UN agency said the Burmese authorities should allow the refugees to monitor the conditions in Rakáin on their own before making the decision to return.
The announcement of the start of repatriation, on October 30, came almost a year after both countries signed, on November 23, 2017, an agreement for the return of refugees.
More than a million Rohingya, a majority Muslim community that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights considers "stateless," have escaped from Burma in various waves since the end of the last century.
The latest avalanche began with the military operation launched to capture members of the Rohinyá de Arakan Salvation Army (ARSA) who had carried out some thirty coordinated attacks in Rakáin on August 25, 2017 and led 723,000 rohinyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh. .
A UN report presented last September described the military operation in Rakáin against the Rohinyas as "intentional genocide", in addition to finding evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Burmese authorities, who have rejected this report, consider the majority of the Rohinyas in their territory as Bengali emigrants and subject them to numerous restrictions, such as the limitation of freedom of movement.