Narinjara news

Rohingya refugee repatriation starts again

Cox’sbazar, 21 May 03
: Repatriation of Rohingya refugees resumed Monday after over a couple of years with the return of 123 refugees from 20 families to their homeland Burma, According to today the “Daily Star.”

Another 150 refugees are expected to return today.

The repatriation process began following an agreement between Burma and Bangladesh under the mediation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Rohingyas refugees have been in Bangladesh for the last 12 years.

They will be repatriated twice a week -- on Mondays and Wednesdays. Officials said 21,658 refugees are still waiting for repatriation.

According to official estimates, 250,877 Rohingyas crossed border and took refuge in Bangladesh between October 1991 and June 1992 to escape persecution by Burma’s military regime. Since then, 233,727 have returned home.

After 1992, many more entered Bangladesh, but the government did not recognize them as refugees. These people are now scattered over Cox’sbazar, Bandarban and Chittagong.

The birth rate in the refugee camps surpassed the repatriation rate, which increased the number of Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh, the paper said. #