News ID: 322394
Published: 0325 GMT June 19, 2022

Rohingya refugees hold mass rally in Bangladesh to 'go home'

Rohingya refugees hold mass rally in Bangladesh to 'go home'

Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh staged demonstrations on Sunday demanding repatriation back to Myanmar, where they fled a brutal military crackdown five years ago.

Almost a million Rohingya Muslims are confined to bamboo and tarpaulin shacks in 34 squalid camps in southeast Bangladesh, with no work, poor sanitation and little access to education. Their increasingly restrictive host country has banned them from holding rallies since they staged a massive 100,000-strong protest in August 2019, AFP wrote

But authorities allowed several groups of Rohingya to hold simultaneous "Go Home" marches ahead of World Refugee Day on Monday.

"We don't want to stay in the camps. Being refugees is not easy. It's hell. Enough is enough. Let's go home," top Rohingya community leader Sayed Ullah said in a speech at one rally.

In 2018, investigators from a United Nations fact-finding mission into the killings and forced mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar concluded that a criminal investigation and prosecution was warranted of top Myanmar generals for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Sunday's demonstrations came after the foreign secretaries of Bangladesh and Myanmar last week held a meeting – their first in nearly three years – by video conference.

A Bangladesh Foreign Ministry official told AFP that during the meeting Dhaka pressed Naypyidaw for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to start this year.

Police and organisers said more than 1,000 Rohingya took part in each of the rallies in at least 29 camps, standing on roads and alleys with placards that read "Enough Is Enough! Let's Go Home".

Previous repatriation attempts have failed, with Rohingya refusing to go home until Myanmar gives the largely Muslim minority guarantees of rights and security.

Rohingya leaders say they want to go back to their original villages in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, not to camps that Myanmar's government has built for internally displaced persons.




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