The Rohingya Muslims: Ending a Cycle of Exodus?

The title of this report is taken from a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report of June 1995 on the repatriation of over 200,000 Burmese refugees, most of them members of the Rohingya Muslim minority, from Bangladesh to their home state of Arakan in northern Burma. The repatriation is being held up as a success story by the UNHCR. For the UNHCR, the return of so many refugees by early 1996, most of whom had left Burma in 1991 and 1992, was a vindication of its shift from providing refugee relief to promoting voluntary repatriation as the most durable solution to refugee problems. But the story of the Rohingyas was not over: the cycle of exodus has not ended.

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