Bangladesh authorities say repatriation of some Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar will begin Thursday as scheduled if people are willing to go despite calls from United Nations officials and human rights groups for the refugees’ safety to be verified first.
Refugee commissioner Abul Kalam said at a news conference that officials will go to a camp to speak to refugees in the afternoon and transfer any who volunteer across the border to Myanmar.
A UN-brokered deal with Bangladesh and Myanmar says refugees can’t be forced to repatriate.
At Jamtoli camp, 25-year-old Setara says she and her two children, ages 4 and 7, are on a repatriation list but don’t want to go. She sent her children to school Thursday morning as usual.