Rohingya refugees may begin their return from Bangladesh to Myanmar in the next two months. A corresponding agreement was signed by representatives of the two countries in Myanmar. But many doubt whether the repatriation can be implemented.
Everyone has their own story – and all these stories are sad. They deal with shot husbands and sons, raped women and daughters, burned villages. 830,000 fates in the filth of the misery camp in Bangladesh. There is not enough to eat, too little clean drinking water, hardly any medicine. But soon the first Rohingya should be allowed to return from the refugee camps in Bangladesh to their home country Myanmar. This is what the two countries agreed today – both states declared.
But the people in the camps are suspicious. “I do not trust the government of Myanmar,” says one refugee. “I’ve fled for the third time in my life, that’s how it always is, I will return when I get Myanmar citizenship.”
Hunt on Rohingya
But that will probably not happen. Myanmar’s citizenship for Rohingya is not an issue for the government. Even the de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi still does not speak of “Rohingya” because that would mean their recognition. For most Burmese, Rohingya are “Bengali”, Bangladeshi people, even though they have lived in Myanmar for generations.
Buddhist monks there called for real hunts against the Muslim minority. Muslims are terrorists – even abbots inoculated their listeners at rallies. They would have to be expelled.
Pictures of a whipped mob chasing Rohingya with clubs went around the world. The petrol-soaked black smoke of burning villages darkened the sky. And in this hate should the Rohingya return? The United Nations spoke in the rare clarity of “ethnic cleansing” and showed satellite images of army soldiers shooting refugees in the back. Only under the massive pressure of international criticism Suu Kyi expressed publicly on the situation in the state of Rakhine. And, in all seriousness, said she wanted to find out why these people flee so massively.
Fear of hatred in Myanmar
International pressure may also have led to the agreement signed today. In the meantime, it is nothing more than a declaration of intent, a vague basic decision with many open questions and unclear details. No more specific than Suu Kyi’s invitation to the refugees to return to Myanmar. A gesture of goodwill that was appreciated by the international community – but who wants to say if it was meant seriously?
Irrespective of any political explanation, the current situation is that the displaced are afraid of the hate that is hitting them in Myanmar and that the Burmese in Rakhine State definitely do not want them back.