‘It’s Hell’: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh gather to ‘go home’ | Rohingya News
Rohingya refugees living in appalling conditions in Bangladesh are demanding to return to Myanmar.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh demonstrated to demand repatriation to Myanmar, where they fled a military crackdown five years ago.
Demonstrations and rallies were allowed to be held simultaneously on Sunday, the day before World Refugee Day, although rallies have been banned since a protest of 100,000 in August 2019.
The “Bari Cholo” (Let’s Go Home) campaign involved 23 Rohingya camps, 21 in Ukhiam and two in Teknaf Upazila, a government official told Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star.
Almost a million Rohingya are locked up in bamboo and tarpaulin huts in 34 run-down camps in the south-east of the country, with no work, poor sanitation and little access to education.
“We don’t want to stay in the camps. Being a refugee is not easy. it’s hell Enough is enough. Let’s go home,” said Rohingya community leader Sayed Ullah, speaking at a rally.
Police said thousands of refugees, including young children, had joined the demonstrations and lined streets and alleys with placards reading ‘Enough is enough! Let’s go home”.
A widow living in a Rohingya camp in Ukhia, who identified herself as Rabeya, said her community is grateful to Bangladesh for its hospitality. “But we want to go back to our homeland. We want to return to our birthplace as soon as possible,” she said.
Previous attempts at repatriation have failed as Rohingya refused to go home until Myanmar guaranteed rights and security to the predominantly Muslim minority.
Investigators from a United Nations fact-finding mission into the killings and forced mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar concluded in 2018 that a criminal investigation and prosecution of top Myanmar generals for crimes against humanity and genocide were warranted.
Rohingya communities have been attacked under the banner of a “clearance operation”. Human Rights Watch reported that at least 200 Rohingya villages were destroyed and burned by the military, and an estimated 13,000 Rohingya were killed.
More than 890,000 Rohingya refugees are housed in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh, the largest cluster of refugee camps in the world.
About 92,000 Rohingya refugees live in Thailand, 21,000 in India and 102,000 in Malaysia. The Rohingya also make up some of Myanmar’s 576,000 internally displaced people.