Indonesian president in Bangladesh to discuss Rohingya
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is in Bangladesh on a visit to sprawling refugee camps for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar.
Jokowi is expected to fly Sunday to Cox’s Bazar, the main town where the camps are located. On Saturday, he met Bangladesh’s President M. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August, after Myanmar security forces began “clearance operations” in the wake of attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts. The U.N. has described the campaign as ethnic cleansing.
Bangladesh and Myanmar have signed a deal to repatriate the Rohingya, though international agencies say few are likely to return voluntarily due to safety concerns. According to the deal, the return must be voluntary and global rights groups say the refugees, including many children, are still traumatized.
UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth said last week that the conditions for their return have not been met yet.