Almost 80pc Rohingyas want to go back

Staff Correspondent | Update:

Rohingya refugees walk on the muddy path after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf. Reuters file photoMore than 90 per cent Rohingyas, who have taken shelter in Bangladesh, personally witnessed or directly experienced violence in Myanmar on or after 25 August, says a survey.

The crackdown by Myanmar authorities since then led to a rapid mass migration of more than 647,000 Rohingya to enter Bangladesh, confirmed the “Rohingya Survey-2017” that documented the atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

However, 78 per cent of the Rohingya refugees surveyed said they would willingly return if the situation improves. About 16 per cent had no desire to return and only 6 per cent would return home unconditionally, the survey added.

Xchange, an international organisation engaged in generating data to advocate better knowledge of human migration, conducted the survey based on interview with 1,360 ethnic Rohingyas between 15 September and 15 October in seven different refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.

The survey said the large number of respondents willing to return to Myanmar could, in part, be explained by the fact that there are very few opportunities for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The survey pointed out that generations of Rohingya refugees staying in the camps following previous expulsions from Myanmar continue to live in poverty.

Almost 100 per cent (96% to be accurate) respondents stated that the Myanmar military were the perpetrators of these abuses. Fifty one per cent reported that local ethnic Rakhine ‘extremists’ were involved.

However, the involvement of ethnic Rakhine civilians was usually in a supportive role to the military, said the survey. “These civilians attacked Rohingyas, burned buildings, and committed other violent crimes that had the effect of driving Rohingyas away from their homes,” the survey added.

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