UN agencies and Burma’s government hammered out text for an MoU paving the way for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, UNCHR reported yesterday.
The agreement, set to be signed sometime over the next week, provides UN access to potential areas of return in Rakhine State and sets out a framework for cooperation. But returning refugees would face conditions that fall far short of the "voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees to their places of origin or of their choosing" specified in the agreement.
But danger and uncertainty awaits those who remain behind in Bangladeshi camps, too. For a glimpse, Ben C. Solomon’s virtual reality piece in the New York Times immerses you in a low-lying Bangladeshi camp confronting the looming monsoon season. "It’s a race against time,” he writes. “If the refugees can’t move to higher ground, aid groups say, thousands may die from floods, landslides, and diseases."