Unmarked UN boats were used to ferry junta officials to refugee camps in preparation for a pilot project that would repatriate about 1,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar, reports Radio Free Asia. The trip, a “public relations stunt”, created a “reputational risk” for all UN agencies and could jeopardize staff security.
Karin Valtersson, Burma Campaign UK’s Campaigns Officer, told RFA: “The situation inside Rakhine state is still a situation of ongoing genocide and they cannot return at this point, and I don’t think anyone will return. The reports that UN agencies have been involved are clearly shameful.”
Instead of returning, Rohingya refugees need support in the camps so they can have a decent living standard, with their security guaranteed, she said. “The security situation in the camps has deteriorated and they cannot be abandoned again by the international community.”