Uncertain Future of Rohingya Repatriation


The ongoing official discussion between Bangladesh and Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingyas is unlikely to produce any workable solution.

Bangladesh wants the Rohingyas – whom the country had provided shelter in order to help them escape an alleged genocide in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – to go back to Myanmar.

Myanmar, on the other hand, is participating in the repatriation-discussion only because of the pressure from the international community and not because they intend to carryout a repatriation process that will be sustainable.

While Myanmar is participating in the repatriation discussions on one hand, they are keeping the fear of tortures alive in the minds of the Rohingyas on the other hand.

This very approach of Myanmar makes the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh feel they would be butchered if they return to Myanmar.

Hence, it is very unlikely that the Rohingyas would be willing to return to Myanmar — atleast not voluntarily. This is what worries Bangladesh. Without their willingness to go back, Bangladesh cannot repatriate the Rohingyas. It has to be voluntary, not forced.

Although the USA, Britain, Germany and France have been voicing their concerns in the United Nations, they have so far failed to take any effective measures against Myanmar because of the veto rights exercised by China and Russia in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meetings.