Myanmar blamed Bangladesh on Tuesday for delays to a huge repatriation programme for Rohingya refugees, as the deadline passed for starting the return of the Muslim minority to strife-torn Rakhine state.
More than 680,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after a brutal Myanmar army crackdown began last August, while a further 100,000 fled a previous bout of violence in October 2016.
Myanmar agreed that from January 23 it would start taking them back from the squalid camps in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh where they have sought shelter.
But a Bangladeshi official said on Monday the programme would not begin as planned. Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said there was much more work to be done.