The prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Myanmar was delaying the Rohingya repatriation process without a specific cause.
“When we talk, Myanmar always says it is ready to take back its nationals[...] .but the reality is that they say it, but don’t do it,” she said at a news conference held in Dhaka following a two-day visit to Nepal to attend a BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) summit, a seven-nation economic bloc of South Asia and South East Asia.
Hasina said the Rohingya issue was not discussed at the event but that she had met Myanmar President Win Myint at the summit.
“He acknowledged the agreement that we have inked. Myanmar says they are ready to take back their nationals,” Hasina said.
Last December Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement to repatriate Rohingya but the process is yet to start.
Nearly 24,000 Rohingya killed
In a report, the UNHCR refugee agency said nearly 170,000 Rohingya likely fled Myanmar in 2012 alone.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
In a recent report, Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience, the OIDA raised the estimated number of murdered Rohingya to 23,962 (± 881) from a Doctors Without Borders figure of 9,400.
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police. Over 115,000 Rohingya houses were also burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.