Nay Pyi Taw, April 15 (IANS): Myanmar authorities announced on Sunday it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh, despite a UN warning that it is not safe to return.
Some 700,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine state to escape a brutal military campaign that began last August, reports the BBC.
The authorities said that five members of a “Muslim” family arrived at a “repatriation camp” on Saturday, and were provided with supplies and National Verification Cards.
The state does not use the word Rohingya.
The card is a form of ID that does not grant citizenship, and has been rejected by Rohingya leaders in the Bangladesh camps.
On Saturday, just a day before Myanmar’s announcement of the Rohingya family’s arrival, the UN refugee agency warned that conditions in Myanmar were “not yet conducive for returns to be safe, dignified, and sustainable”, the BBC reported.
While refugee camps in Bangladesh continue to receive new arrivals in small numbers, Myanmar claims it is ready to receive returnees.
But the UN insists it Myanmar’s responsibility to the Rohingya goes beyond “the preparation of physical infrastructure to facilitate logistical arrangements”.