In Bangladesh, thousands of Rohingya Muslims have staged protests in refugee camps to mark five years since Burmese soldiers began a campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide against their community. The U.N. reports as many as 10,000 Rohingya were killed by Burmese forces during the 2017 pogroms, though some estimates put the death toll at more than twice that number. Another 730,000 Rohingya were forced to flee Burma. On Thursday, protesters in a sprawling refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar said they’re ready to be repatriated — but only if they’re guaranteed security and Burmese citizenship.
Jamalida Begum: “Today we are holding a demonstration, because in 2017 the Burmese army killed our people in a genocide. They killed my husband and others. The military raped us, then they killed our children, throwing them into fires and snatching them from the laps of mothers.”
Abul Kasim: “We are now ready to go back to Burma, but our demand is that we must get our citizenship rights. If they agree, then we are ready to go back. Bangladesh is not our soil. We don’t want to stay here. If we go, we will not stay in camps in Burma; we want to go straight to our own homes.”