The marooned Rohingyas in Bangladesh urged for a swifter process of repatriation. While Myanmar bears the responsibility for providing and safeguarding the rights of the Rohingyas, undeniably cooperative efforts are necessary to reach a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
The Rohingyas staged demonstrations on 8 June, across the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar District. The wrecked demonstrators included young and old, who had been displaced since past six years. They chanted slogans and held placards which read, “No more refugee life. No verification. No scrutiny. No interview. We want quick repatriation through the UNHCR data card. We want to go back to our motherland,”. “Let’s return to Myanmar. Don’t try to stop repatriation.”
Notably, these demonstrators are not officially recognized as refugees owing to the fact that Bangladesh is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention or its 1967 Refugee Protocol. Instead of a ‘refugees’ they are called Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs) which impedes them from being entitled for receiving specific rights and protection that are afforded to the refugees. Nonetheless, the Bangladesh government has been making cogent efforts to provide support and care for Rohingyas residing within Bangladesh’s borders, however facing significant financial and spatial challenges consequently.
The Roingya crisis, in actual fact is losing international support owing to the various conflicts and crises worldwide, the likes of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. For instance, in the beginning of Junes 2023, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced a reduction in aid for the displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh. Consequently, the monthly assistance was lowered from US $10 to US $8 per person. While the government of Japan donated US $4.4 million to WFP last week, however an additional US $48 million is required to meet ration needs.
The arising lack of assistance has caused the UNHCR and its partners to appeal for US $876 million this year, as they highlight an urgent need for assistance. UNHCR and its partners have warned that nearly half of the Rohingya families are not receiving an adequate diet due to reduced rations which is causing widespread malnutrition, particularly among women and children. Unfortunately, the facts reveal that, only 28 percent of the required funding has been received thus far.
A bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar has been reached facilitated by China. Under this bilateral agreement the Rohingyas will be repatriated. The repatriation plan was drafted by the Myanmar government; designating 15 villages to receive the displaced Rohingya from Bangladesh. The government will keep returning Rohingyas at the Hla Poe Kaung transit camp for a maximum of two months. Later on, the authorities will relocate them to one of two resettlement camps, where they have built prefabricated houses.