A Bangladesh Cabinet minister has accused Myanmar of obstructing efforts to repatriate 750,000 Rohingya refugees, saying it was unlikely the displaced Muslims would ever return to their homeland.
Finance minister AMA Muhith said the repatriation deal signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh in November would likely fail despite his government’s official stance that the refugees must eventually go back. “I do not believe the Rohingya can be sent back,” Muhith has said in Dhaka after meeting with a British charity.
“You can speculate that very few will return to Burma. The first reason is that Burma will only take a few and secondly is that the refugees will never return if they fear persecution,” he added, using another name for Myanmar. Bangladesh insists the repatriation process will go ahead, submitting to Myanmar the names of 8,000 refugees expected to return to Rakhine. But the plan has courted a controversy.