Thousands of persecuted Rohingya in Bangladesh held a rally to push for early repatriation to Myanmar.
They raised banners which said: “Don't Stop Repatriation. We Want to Go Back Home. We Don't Want to Remain Refugees Anymore."
Muhammad Ayaz, 35, who lives at the Teknaf refugee camp in the country's southeastern coast, told Anadolu: “We are the citizens of Myanmar. We urge the global community to hear our appeal of returning home with proper citizenship rights and protection in Myanmar after repatriation.”
He also said that the food support cut by the UN has pushed them to starvation.
Women and children are the worst victims of the food ration cut, he added.
He urged the global community, including the UN, to immediately ensure the necessary food support and other basic needs as the refugees in Bangladesh completely depend on aid for their survival.
Earlier, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced to cut food ration further for Rohingya refugees to $8 from $10 per month, per day from June 1. In March, the ration cut was reduced from $12 to $10 due to a reduction in refugee response support money.
Mohammed Rezuwan Khan, another protester, told Anadolu that if things continue going downhill, they will be left with no option but to "steal food for survival."
“Rohingya lives have been stuck in a quagmire. Sometimes I feel we will go mad," he said.
More than 750,000 Rohingya fled a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine State in August 2017 and fled to Bangladesh, according to Amnesty International. The figure has swelled to 1.2 million in recent years, according to the Bangladesh government's estimates.
In a four-day visit to the refugee camp last week, Kelly T. Clements, UN deputy high commissioner for refugees, said that Rohingya refugees living in the camps are completely reliant on humanitarian aid for their basic needs.
However, the minimum funding for this assistance is no longer available, she said.
Humanitarian agencies have appealed for more than $876 million this year to support the refugees in Bangladesh.
As of June 2023, the Joint Response Plan for supporting Rohingya refugees was only 24% funded.
Tom Andrews, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said Thursday Bangladesh must immediately suspend a pilot repatriation project for Rohingya to return to Myanmar, where they face serious risks to their lives and liberty.
Source: Anadolu Agency
BDST: 1127 HRS, JUNE 09, 2023