Rohingya: Nayarapa and Kutuplong Camps, 20 years On

Caseload of long standing residual cases in Rohingya refugee camps: From the latest Human Rights Watch report, it is shocking to find that there are still Rohingya refugees who are from initial 1991 influx, have still been residing at these two refugee camps, i.e. Nayapara and Kutupalong. I have written a note about these two camps in 1997 ( ). As record stands, in 1997 there were 21,000 Rohingya residents where Burmese IMPD (Immigration and Man Power Department) give clearance to '7500' as of belonging to Burma.

This situation and statistics remain depressingly un-moved as in 2007, the UNHCR reported as ".....Negotiations are currently underway for possible tripartite meetings between the GoB, the Government of Myanmar (GoM) and UNHCR on the issue of voluntary repatriation. ...... At present, Myanmar has only agreed to repatriate 8000 refugees who they cleared for return in 1997 of which only 5000 remain in the camps. The other ‘cleared’ refugees are deemed to have returned or moved onwards." Also reported is a total of 26,317 registered refugees whom 5,000 were children. Check out the report titled "May 2007, Balgladesh: Analysis of gaps in protection of Rohingya refugees" by the UNHCR. The UNHCR since then has been taking a third country resettlement as an option, the report stated.

Unfortunately, as of 2013 the UNHCR is still unable to close these two camps -- which means extremely slow pace of resettlement for these camp residents. Who are the people the Burmese IMPD did not give clearance? Are there anybody who had been to these camps? Please share us some insights.

Statistically, there was an estimate of 250,000 Rohingyas from 1991/92 refugee influx, of which more than 220,000 were being accepted as former residents of Arakan by Burmese IMPD. The Burmese IMPD clearly do not want the remaining (26,000+) who currently are in that two camps. Unless these residual cases were resolved by the third country resettlement, we possibly won't be able to talk about a meaningful solution for Rohingyas. Perhaps, when we've got more media reports and statistics about these remaining cases, we can probably advocate for a regional initiatives to find solution for these residents.

With best regards, U Ne Oo.