Why the Myanmar military should repatriate the Rohingya as soon as possible

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims gathered in Cox’s Bazar on Bangladesh’s southeast coast, pleading with the international community to make arrangements for their safe return to Myanmar. On the eve of World Refugee Day, the Rohingya held protests under the slogan “Let’s go home”, with 19 demands, including their speedy and dignified repatriation to Myanmar and the involvement of international organizations in the repatriation.

According to reports, their demands include immediate repatriation to Myanmar as full citizens, amendment of the Citizenship Act 1982, participation of US, UK, UN, ASEAN and other international communities to the repatriation process, repatriation to their respective villages in Myanmar, protection of their rights, dignity and safety in Myanmar, and an end to the persecution of innocent people in Myanmar.

Bangladesh wishes to find a peaceful solution to the situation of the Rohingyas and expects Myanmar and the international community to do the same. His administration began diplomatic attempts to remove them and negotiated agreements with Myanmar. But, five years later, not a single Rohingya has returned to their home country, fearing persecution if they do.

To make voluntary repatriations possible, Myanmar must ensure that Rohingya Muslims are not persecuted. Returning refugees will not be persecuted.

Bangladesh has done everything it can to secure the return of the Rohingyas through peaceful means, but nothing has worked so far.

The Burmese army is under intense international pressure to support democratic movements. The Burmese military could benefit in the long run if it takes the initiative to send the Rohingyas back to Myanmar. Myanmar should end its conflict with Bangladesh as soon as possible in order to maintain regional stability. Otherwise, the Myanmar military could face a calamity. Myanmar will not be able to resist international pressure. Myanmar could benefit from a bilateral settlement of the conflict with Bangladesh and the strengthening of trade relations if the crisis is resolved

It goes without saying that the voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas is the most durable and long-lasting solution to the situation. However, due to the Rohingya’s lack of trust in the Myanmar government, repatriation attempts failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019.

Myanmar must ensure that Rohingya refugees are not persecuted upon their return in order to facilitate voluntary repatriation.

To this end, the international community and the United Nations should increase pressure on Myanmar to create a safe, secure and dignified environment in which Rohingya refugees can return to their home countries in safety and dignity. We anticipate that the international community will play a more assertive diplomatic role in pressuring Myanmar to return the Rohingyas.

The military coup in Myanmar on February 1, 2021 raised fears in Bangladesh that the new rulers are not fulfilling their promises to return Rohingya Muslim refugees already residing in the country. Despite intense diplomatic efforts by the Bangladeshi government to repatriate Myanmar citizens, the Rohingya, the Myanmar government has been reluctant to do so.

Despite Bangladesh’s best efforts, more than three years after 750,000 Rohingya escaped a horrific military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, repatriation has yet to begin.

So far, the Burmese army has managed to deceive the whole world. Although humanitarian and an ally of Bangladesh, the international community has not taken significant action. Myanmar’s military operations in Rakhine are still in the same state as five years ago. It was hoped that mutual friends of the two countries, such as China, India and Russia, would solve the problem, but so far no concrete attempt has been seen. So far, no demand for change in Myanmar’s policy has been made in the foreign press.

The Burmese military has remained absolutely silent on the issue of Rohingya citizenship. Despite the fact that a number of countries have imposed a limited embargo on Myanmar generals, such attempts have already proven ineffective.

Five years later, international action is urgently needed to bring the Rohingya back to their homes. In this case, the Burmese army cannot remain silent. They believe that the world and the international community will forgive them and forget the plight of the Rohingyas.

Because the global spotlight has turned to the covid-19, Ukraine and Afghanistan crises, Myanmar’s military is reluctant to address the issue. However, this time the Rohingyas have started speaking out against the injustice they are experiencing.

Following the 2021 coup and the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Myanmar military is under intense international pressure to support democratic movements. The Burmese military could benefit in the long run if it takes the initiative to send the Rohingyas back to Myanmar. Myanmar should end its conflict with Bangladesh as soon as possible in order to maintain regional stability. Otherwise, the Myanmar military may face a calamity. Myanmar will not be able to resist international pressure. Myanmar could benefit from a bilateral settlement of the conflict with Bangladesh and a strengthening of trade relations if the crisis is resolved. Therefore, it is in the interests of the Myanmar military to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The message is clear: Rohingya refugees do not want to remain in Bangladesh as refugees and do not tolerate Myanmar’s military injustice.

It’s time to resettle the Rohingya in Myanmar; the Rohingya sent a clear message to the military administration of Myanmar with this great march.

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