Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

An elderly Rohingya refugee holds a placard during a protest against the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox's Bazar on Thursday, November 15. (AP)
Updated 16 November 2018
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Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Normal life has returned to a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Bangladesh a day after government officials abandoned plans to begin repatriating residents to Myanmar after finding no one wanted to go.
About 500 refugees crowded into a mosque on Friday for prayers in Unchiprang, one of the camps near the city of Cox’s Bazar that house more than 700,000 Rohingya who fled military-led violence in Myanmar.
An imam told the devotees that the government could not force Rohingya to go back without Myanmar guaranteeing them protection and civil rights, to which they replied, “Amen.”
Some people on the government’s repatriation list left their shanties and disappeared into other camps to avoid being sent home, while others joined a large demonstration against the plan.
Some who fled returned Friday.


Cuba denies Trump claim of troops in Venezuela

Updated 21 min 38 sec ago
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Cuba denies Trump claim of troops in Venezuela

  • US President Donald Trump says Cuba has troops in Venezuela defending socialist leader Nicolas Maduro
  • Trump has refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela, despite repeated denials from his administration

HAVANA: Cuba rejected Tuesday the “despicable” accusation by US President Donald Trump that it has troops in Venezuela defending socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.
On Monday, Trump claimed that Maduro was being “protected by a private army of Cuban soldiers.”
“Let him show the evidence. Our government rejects this slander in the strongest and most categorical terms,” said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
He also claimed the US was “preparing a military intervention under a humanitarian pretext,” in a bid to oust Maduro.
The US has sent tons of aid to Colombia’s border with Venezuela in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is challenging Maduro’s authority.
Venezuela is wracked by a humanitarian crisis marked by shortages of desperately needed food and medicines. But the military has barricaded the border crossing to prevent the aid from entering.
Guaido, the self-proclaimed acting president recognized by some 50 countries, says 300,000 Venezuelans could die without the aid.
Maduro, though, claims the aid is a smokescreen for an invasion.
Trump has refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela, despite repeated denials from his administration.
Rodriguez said the US-backed “imperialist coup” has failed but Guaido insists the aid will be brought in on Saturday, and has pressed the military to side with him and let the shipments enter the country.
“They’ve fixed a deadline to bring in humanitarian aid by force, which is in itself a contradiction,” added Rodriguez.
“What are their aims, what could they be if not to generate an incident that puts civilian lives at risk, that would provoke violence or unpredictable circumstances?”