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Bangladesh plans to repatriate 3,500 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Bangladesh plans to repatriate 3,500 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Some 3,500 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have been cleared to return home to Myanmar beginning this week, nearly two years after a military crackdown sparked their exodus, according to officials.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in August 2017 from a military offensive in Myanmar. They joined 200,000 already there, but virtually none have volunteered to return despite the countries signing a repatriation deal, AFP said.

Bangladesh refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said he was “optimistic” about a new repatriation process scheduled to start on Thursday. Bangladesh and Myanmar officials plan to repatriate 300 Rohingya each day, Kalam added.

A previous attempt in November 2018 to return 2,260 Rohingya failed after they refused to leave the camp without guarantees for their safety.