Stories by Linah Alsaafin of Al Jazeera

Rohingya refugees long to return home but fear what they'd find there


Refugee Mir Ahmad, 60, in Cox's Bazar. Photo: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh — None of the more than 900,000 Rohingya who over the last year have fled a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar army, described by the United Nations as "textbook ethnic cleansing,” have returned from Bangladesh under a repatriation deal the two countries signed last November.

What they’re saying: For many of the Rohingya, who are not recognized by Myanmar as an ethnic group and are denied citizenship and government services, this was not the first time they had forcibly left their homes. Many now living refugee camps tell Al Jazeera they will not return unless their demands — including citizenship, greater inclusivity in government services such as education and the workforce, the ensuring of security and safety, and reparations for all that they have lost — are met.

Displaced Rohingya lament life in no-man's land

Children on the bridge separating the camp from Bangladesh. Photo: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh — Of the more than 700,000 Rohingya forced from their homes in Myanmar, 4,600 are stranded in bleak conditions at a camp in no-man's land on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, known to locals as Zero Point.

The bigger picture: Many Rohingya, a majority-Muslim ethnic group often described as "the world's most persecuted minority,” now live in limbo. Residents of Zero Point have not been given refugee status, as the area in which they have been sheltering for almost a year now is officially under Myanmar control — but a fortified border fence rigged with landmines makes a return to their villages in Rakhine state an impossible mission.