About 200,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims demonstrated Sunday (August 25th) in a refugee camp in Bangladesh to commemorate the second anniversary of their exile from Burma.
Some 740,000 Rohingya had fled the Burmese state of Rakhine (west) in August 2017, following an army crackdown in Burma - a country with a large Buddhist majority. Entire families had reached in very difficult conditions 200,000 persecuted refugees who had already settled in camps on the other side of the border in Bangladesh.
>> Read on France 24: "Two years after their mass exodus to Bangladesh, the Rohingya are 'in a dead end'"
Children, veiled women and men dressed in loincloths gathered Sunday in the largest refugee camp in the world, where more than 600,000 Rohingya live, shouting "God is great, Rohingya long live!" Under a blazing sun, they intended to commemorate what they call "Genocide Day".
"I came here to seek justice for the murder of my two sons, and I will continue to fight until my last breath," said Tayaba, 50, wiping tears from his cheeks.
"We asked the Burmese government to open a dialogue"
UN investigators have denounced a "genocide" Rohingya, calling for prosecution of Burmese generals. Burma rejected the accusations, claiming to have defended against Rohingya rebel attacks on police stations.
A Rohingya leader, Mohib Ullah, said on Sunday that members of the stateless minority want to return to Burma, but under three conditions: to have security guarantees, to obtain Burmese nationality and to return to their villages.
"We have asked the Burmese government to open a dialogue, but we have received no response so far," said Mohib Ullah. "We were beaten, killed and raped in Rakhine, but no matter, it's still there with us, and we want to go back."
Bangladesh and Burma signed a refugee repatriation agreement in 2017. But two attempts in November and this week failed because they refused to leave.