Rohingya flee refugee camps in Bangladesh, as Myanmar prepares for first returnees

Source: Reuters

By Ruma PaulPoppy McPhersonShoon Naing

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh/YANGON (Reuters) – Dozens of Rohingya Muslim families on a list of refugees set to be repatriated to Myanmar later this week have fled from camps in Bangladesh where they were living, a Rohingya leader said on Monday, even as Myanmar prepares to begin receiving them.

FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugees walk at Jamtoli camp in the morning in Cox's Bazar

FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugees walk at Jamtoli camp in the morning in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

“Most of the people on the list have fled to avoid being repatriated,” said Abdus Salam, a Rohingya leader at the Jamtoli camp, some 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, adding most have fled to other neighboring camps to avoid being detected and forced to return against their will.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in late October to begin repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar to escape an army crackdown, even though the United Nations’ refugee agency and aid groups say doubts persist about their safety and conditions in Myanmar should they return.

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