‘2023 should be Rohingya Home Year,’ demand Rohingya refugees

“2023 should be Rohingya Home Year,” read a placard held up by a refugee boy as nearly 1,000 Rohingya people in Bangladesh’s refugee camp in the southern border district of Cox’s Bazar on Saturday held a rally, demanding a peaceful and dignified return to their home country of Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Anadolu Agency reports.

Carrying banners and placards with various slogans like “Rohingya Want to Smile in 2023,” “No NVC (National Verification Cards)” and “Enough is Enough, Let’s Go Home”, a large number of the persecuted people attended the rally.

Addressing the gathering, Rohingya community leaders lamented that due to uncertainty around their peaceful and dignified repatriation and poor living conditions in Bangladesh’s 33 congested camps, their children are growing up without proper education and guidelines.

Currently, Bangladesh is hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya who fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017.

Every year around 35,000 newborn babies are added to the number of refugees.

Despite frequent efforts by Bangladesh, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated on grounds of safety, dignity, and citizenship right that the military junta scrapped in the guise of a controversial 1982 Citizenship Act.

“If the situation remains so, we fear that in near future we will be part of a lost generation,” Moulavi Syed Ullah, a Rohingya community leader, said while addressing the rally.

Other Rohingya leaders also spoke, calling on the international community to put due pressure on the Myanmar government so that they take back their citizenship rights and safely go back home.

They said while the whole world is welcoming the New Year with joy, the Rohingya people in Bangladesh’s squalid camps are waiting for the day when their plights will end.

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