Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh protest repatriation move

Bangladesh has reached an agreement with Myanmar to send back the around 750,000 refugees who have arrived since October 2016 over the next two years, a process set to begin as early as next week. (AP)
Updated 19 January 2018
0

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh protest repatriation move

DHAKA: Hundreds of Rohingya refugees staged protests in Bangladesh Friday against plans to send them back to Myanmar, where a military crackdown last year sparked a mass exodus.
The refugees chanted slogans and held banners demanding citizenship and guarantees of security before they return to their home state of Rakhine in Myanmar.
The protest came ahead of a visit by UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee to the camps in southeastern Bangladesh where around a million of the Muslim minority are now living.
Bangladesh has reached an agreement with Myanmar to send back the around 750,000 refugees who have arrived since October 2016 over the next two years, a process set to begin as early as next week.
But many Rohingya living in the crowded, unsanitary camps have said they do not want to return to Rakhine after fleeing atrocities including murder, rape and arson attacks on their homes.
Rights groups and the UN say any repatriation must be voluntary.
They have also expressed concerns about conditions in Myanmar, where many Rohingya settlements have been burned to the ground by soldiers and Buddhist mobs.
The government has said it is building temporary camps to accommodate the returnees, a prospect feared by Rohingya, said Mohibullah, a refugee and former teacher.
“We want safe zones in Arakan (Rakhine) before repatriation,” he said by phone from Cox’s Bazar, where the camps are located.
“We want a UN peacekeeping force in Arakan. We want fundamental rights and citizenship. We do not want repatriation without life guarantees,” Mohibullah said.
Police said they were unaware of the protests.
A Bangladesh official said around 6,500 Rohingya currently living in no man’s land between the two countries would be among the first to be repatriated.
The repatriation deal does not cover the estimated 200,000 Rohingya refugees who were living in Bangladesh prior to October 2016, driven out by previous rounds of communal violence and military operations.


Kremlin says world ‘more dangerous’ if US drops nuclear treaty

Updated 2 min 33 sec ago
0

Kremlin says world ‘more dangerous’ if US drops nuclear treaty

  • ‘Russia has been and remains committed to the provisions of this treaty’
  • The treaty was signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev

RUSSIA: The Kremlin on Monday said the world would be less safe if Washington goes ahead with plans to withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty that banned intermediate-range missiles.
“Such steps, if taken, will make the world more dangerous,” said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov as he rejected claims by US President Donald Trump that Russia had violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
“Russia has been and remains committed to the provisions of this treaty,” he said.
The US had previously undermined the foundations of the agreement, Peskov added.
“The intention to withdraw from this document is of the deepest concern.”
Peskov reiterated an earlier statement by President Vladimir Putin that Russia would never strike first even if threatened with a nuclear attack.
“We don’t feel that we have the right to inflict the first strike,” he said.
The INF resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.
The treaty was signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, who at the weekend also criticized plans to pull out.
US national security adviser John Bolton is in Moscow for two days of talks in which the issue will be discussed.