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Rohingya Muslims say they don’t want to return to Myanmar

August 20, 2019 GMT

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — Officials from the U.N. refugee agency and Bangladesh’s government say few Muslim Rohingya refugees have responded to plans for their repatriation to Myanmar, and all who did say they don’t want to go back.

Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner, Abul Kalam, said Tuesday that only 21 families out of 1,056 selected for repatriation starting Thursday have submitted forms and talked to officials about whether they wish to return.

Kalam said all the families said they won’t go back.

Last year, a similar attempt by the UNHCR and the two countries failed, with no refugees wanting to return voluntarily, a condition Bangladesh said it would follow under an agreement with Myanmar.

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More than 700,000 Rohingya fled a harsh security crackdown in Myanmar two years ago and are staying in refugee camps in Bangladesh.