Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return
Rohingya refugees wait for news on the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. The head of Bangladesh's refugee commission said plans to begin a voluntary repatriation of Rohingya Muslim refugees to their native Myanmar on Thursday were scrapped after officials were unable to find anyone who wanted to return. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — Normal life has returned to a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Bangladesh a day after government officials abandoned plans to begin repatriating residents to Myanmar after finding no one wanted to go.

About 500 refugees crowded into a mosque on Friday for prayers in Unchiprang, one of the camps near the city of Cox’s Bazar that house more than 700,000 Rohingya who fled military-led violence in Myanmar.

An imam told the devotees that the government could not force Rohingya to go back without Myanmar guaranteeing them protection and civil rights, to which they replied, “Amen.”

Some people on the government’s repatriation list left their shanties and disappeared into other camps to avoid being sent home, while others joined a large demonstration against the plan.

Some who fled returned Friday.