Uncertainty over Rohingya repatriation is likely to stay as conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in Rakhine has escalated since early January, say experts.
The situation poses challenges for Bangladesh in handling the one million refugees in Cox’s Bazar, especially as tension between the host communities and the Rohingyas, and the risk of Rohingya radicalisation are rising, amid a fund shortage.
Meanwhile, aid agencies are proposing medium-term plans, including the provision of education, skills and income-generating activities for the Rohingyas before their return.
The Bangladeshi authorities, however, are reluctant.
“Joblessness among Bangladeshis is high. So, there is little scope for creation of jobs for the Rohingyas,” said Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Abul Kalam.
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Providing formal education to the children could lead to a situation when they would look for jobs and integrate in Bangladesh society. He insists that aid agencies ensure informal education in the refugee camps instead.
Myanmar signed two deals — one with Bangladesh in November and another with UNDP and UNHCR in June – in face of global pressure. It came following the influx of some 750,000 Rohingyas after a brutal military crackdown on them in August 2017.
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