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" Burmese Muslim refugees refuse ta
Reply-To: south@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (SAFHR KATHMANDU)
Subject: " Burmese Muslim refugees refuse talks, dig trenches"
"Burmese Muslim refugees refuse talks, dig trenches"
The Kathmandu Post
Monday, July 28 1997
Dhaka, July 27 (AFP)- Burmese Muslim refugees on Sunday refused to talks
with Bangladesh officials to end protests against their forced
repatriation, aid agency sources said.
"They are demanding written guarantees from authorities that they would not
be forcifully repatriated," one aid agancy source said from the southeast
city of Cox's Bazar, near Burmese border.
Proteset by many of the 21,000 Rohinghas Burmese in camps in the Cox's
Bazar district have been mounting in recent days over the government plan
to send 7,500 of them home.
Some started a sit-in at the Kutupalong camp on Friday and others at the
nearby Noapara camp have now been refusing food for days, the sources
The Daily Star newspaper said angry refugees have dug trenches around
both camps as police and paramilitary forces stepped up security around
the two potential flashpoint.
The government and representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees(UNHCR) are hold talks Sunday on the repatriation in Dhaka,
foreign ministry official said.
Rrepatriation was put off last week after noisy demonstration and violence
at Kutupalong camp.
Many of the 21,000 refugees still in the Cox's Bazar district have been
waiting for years to return home.
Some 250,000 Muslims from Arakan state fled to Bangladesh in 1991 to
escape repression and human rights violations, a charge denied by the
military junta in Burma.
Most were repatriates following a 1993 accord between the UNHCR and
Bangladesh has said it wants all refugees to return to Burma by August 15,
a dead line set by Rangoon.
Burma recently agreed to take back 7,500 refugees. But the rest were
refused clearance on grounds on non-citizenship, according to the UNHCR.
Dhaka has said the new entrants are economics migrants who are not
eligile for UNHCR assiatance.