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Sun Nov 18, 2018, 01:59 PM

Rohingya repatriation, relocation plans set to be pushed back to 2019 - government official

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS NOVEMBER 18, 2018 / 7:21 AM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO

Exclusive: Rohingya repatriation, relocation plans set to be pushed back to 2019 - government official

Zeba Siddiqui
4 MIN READ

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programs only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a top Bangladeshi official said on Sunday.

Abul Kalam, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, told Reuters “a new course of action” needed to be adopted on repatriation that took into account refugees’ key demands. He later clarified these were his own personal views and not those of the government.

More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to U.N. agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on security forces.

Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried out gang rapes. U.N-mandated investigators have accused Myanmar’s army of “genocidal intent” and ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has denied almost all the accusations, saying its forces engaged in a counter-insurgency operation against “terrorists”.

In late October, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled, but the plan has been opposed by the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and the U.N. refugee agency and aid groups, who fear for the safety of Rohingya in Myanmar.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-bangladesh-exclusive/exclusive-rohingya-repatriation-relocation-plans-set-to-be-pushed-back-to-2019-government-official-idUSKCN1NN0FC

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