The language could not be clearer: Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on a repatriation deal that would see the Rohingya refugees finally return to their homeland safe and secure.
But it seems that Myanmar has no intention of honouring this agreement. Despite promises to the contrary, the situation in Rakhine state is yet to see any improvements.
As such, it is not surprising that Rohingya from the region continue to arrive at Bangladesh’s borders, due to the fact that they are still being threated with violence, having their homes torched by the Myanmar army.
As such, it begs us to question the fate that lies in store for the hundreds and thousands of refugees in our shores looking forward to go back home.
The fact that the oppression and mistreatment of the Rohingya have continued despite condemnation from the international community shows that Myanmar not only disrespects democracy and basic human rights, but holds nothing but utter contempt for Bangladesh as a neighbour.
With our country having already handed over a list of Rohingya refugees ready for repatriation, could we now, in good conscience, even consider sending them back to a place where we know they will continue to suffer?
Thousands of people have died due to the Myanmar army’s cruelty, with grisly reports of the fate that is in store for anyone who identifies as a Rohingya in Rakhine state.
What we do not wish to see is a repeat of last year’s events.
If Myanmar’s intentions were true, the repatriation process would have started in January as planned, instead of their government’s numerous delays and general slipshod treatment of the repatriation process.
We fail to see exactly how Myanmar is, in any shape or form, “ready” to take back the Rohingya refugees -- with no real assurance being given of their safety and security once the refugees are resettled.
The impunity with which Myanmar has continued its merciless ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya needs to end now. The international community needs to step in fast, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the only language Myanmar will understand is one of force.