Rohingya resist repatriation to Myanmar
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/15/18, 12:35 pm
Bangladesh on Thursday scrapped plans to help Rohingya Muslims return to Myanmar because none of the refugees wanted to go back. The Bangladesh government “can’t force them to go,” Refugee Commissioner Abul Kalam said, but it will continue to try to “motivate them so it happens.” At the Unchiprang refugee camp Thursday, the Rohingya responded to requests for them to board buses to Myanmar by gathering and chanting, “We won’t go!”
About 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar, also known as Burma, starting in August of last year after security forces launched a brutal crackdown in Rakhine state. The UN has accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Rohingya.
Foreign leaders, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, criticized Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize–winning leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week for her handling of the Rohingya crisis. In a public meeting with Suu Kyi at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore, Pence said the violence against the Rohingya was “without excuse,” adding, “I’m anxious to hear about the progress that you’re making, holding those accountable who are responsible for the violence that displaced so many hundreds of thousands and created such suffering, including the loss of life.”
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