Myanmar has urged Bangladesh to stop granting relief to over 6,000 Rohingya stranded on the border between the two countries since a military crackdown spurred an exodus of the Muslim minority, the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka said. The Myanmar government has vowed to take the Rohingya Muslims back, but why are they apprehensive to return back?
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The group declined to enter Bangladesh in the months during and after Myanmar’s armed campaign, which forced 700,000 Rohingyas to feel homeland which has been denounced by the UN, the US and other Western nations. They are now stuck in a narrow no man’s land dependent on humanitarian relief provided by Bangladesh.
Myanmar requested for the assistance to be stopped in talks between Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali and Myanmar’s top diplomatic envoy, Kyaw Tint Swe, in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw.
“Myanmar requested Bangladesh to end providing humanitarian aid to the trapped Rohingyas and proposed to manage the supply of humanitarian assistance from Myanmar side,” the ministry said. Bangladesh made no commitment but “responded positively” to Myanmar’s suggestion.
Return Back, Else…
A Myanmar minister on a visit to the no-mans land earlier this year threatened the Rohingya refugees that they will face “consequences” if they do not take up a Myanmar offer to return.
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“There will be scepticism whether Myanmar will constantly provide us with food and humanitarian aid. If Bangladesh stops assisting us, we will have a massive problem,” a local Rohingya said.
Myanmar has vowed to resettle the Rohingya Muslims back but none have returned so far. Rohingya leaders say that those housing at overflowing migrant camps in Bangladesh will not go back until their security is guaranteed.
The majority of Myanmar’s Rohingya fled the nation after a brutal crackdown by the army which was allegedly triggered after Rohingya militants attacked the police posts. Myanmar views the Rohingya as illegal migrants and has long rejected them citizenship and basic rights, despite their long roots in the country’s Rakhine state.