• Saturday, Sep 21, 2019
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Rohingya families enlisted for repatriation go underground

  • Published at 11:23 pm August 22nd, 2019
A locked hut at a Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
A locked hut at a Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

During a visit to the camp, Dhaka Tribune found the houses of these Rohingya families enlisted for repatriation locked

A good number of Rohingya refugees, who were selected by Myanmar for the second repatriation attempt, were not found in their homes on Thursday at Camp No 26 at Shalbagan in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar.

During a visit to the camp, Dhaka Tribune found the houses of these Rohingya families enlisted for repatriation locked. Their neighbours said these families went into hiding fearing their unwanted return to their homeland in the Rakhine state.

Their unwillingness on Thursday made the repatriation attempt unsuccessful. The first attempt, which had failed miserably, was made in November last year.

A neighbour of these Rohingya families told Dhaka Tribune that they, who left their homes locked, were moving around the camps in Cox’s Bazar. It is believed that they are staying with either relatives or acquaintances in different blocks, trying to hide from the authorities.


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Some of these families had even appeared at the interview taken by the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) between Tuesday and Thursday, while some others did not.

Abdullah, one of the residents of the camp’s Block A4, said: “My neighbour Abdus Salam and his family locked and left their shelter this morning [Thursday], fearing he may be repatriated.”

Another neighbour Yasmin confirmed that Salam’s family was in the list and was scheduled to go for the interview. She however, could not confirm where they went.


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The shelter room of Rashida Begum, 20, and her husband, Nur Uddin, 25, was also found locked on Thursday. The family is enlisted for repatriation and Nur went for the interview at the camp-in-charge’s (CIC) office on Wednesday morning.

Rashida told reporters that day that she would not give interview till their demands were met.

While visiting the camp, Dhaka Tribune found many other shelter rooms locked. The neighbours also failed to say where these families went, but confirmed that they were enlisted for repatriation.

The Rohingya refugees have been making five demands including citizenship, justice for the violence against them and guaranteed safety and security of their lives after returning to Myanmar.


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In the fresh repatriation attempt this year, 295 out of 1,037 families enlisted for repatriation have so far been interviewed over the past three days. But none of the families agreed to return until their demands were met.

However, the authorities said they will continue interviewing the rest of the families in the coming days and expressed hope that some of them will choose to return to Myanmar.

Additional reporting by Staff Reporter Kamrul Hasan