Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, criticised the deal between Burma and Bangladesh to repatriate Rohingya refugees who have filled out their personal details on forms. He described the deal as a way of “buying time”, since sluggish bureaucracy in both countries means that it could take years to cross-check refugees’ identities.
“When people are fleeing their homes under attack they’re not grabbing their ID cards, if they have them,” he told BuzzFeed News. “The main problem is not how long it takes to return, or the conditions they have to meet to return. The problem is that it’s not safe to return. Unless we start to see really strong sanctions against the military, so that they face real pressure, we’re going to see a repeat of this crisis all over again.”