Dhaka, MINA – Myanmar agree to Bangladesh’s call to start repatriation of Rohingya refugees in the second quarter of 2021.
The agreement was reached at a tripartite meeting facilitated by China on Tuesday.
“We are pushing to start repatriation in the first quarter, but Myanmar is looking for more time for logistical arrangements and some physical arrangements. So, we asked to start repatriation in the second quarter, and they agreed, “Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Secretary Masud Bin Momen said after the meeting, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
In addition, said Momen, China and Myanmar also understood and agreed on a proposal pushed by Bangladesh to maintain an international community presence in Rakhine State when the repatriation took place.
A few days before the meeting, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said repatriation was the only solution to end the Rohingya crisis and there would be no alternative.
Bangladesh is also proposing village-based repatriation of the Rohingya to their homeland, while Myanmar wants a sporadic gathering of refugees currently taking refuge in Cox’s Bazar following a military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017 and repatriation.
Myanmar Deputy Minister for International Cooperation U Hau Do Suan participated in the tripartite meeting which was held via video conference.
Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said the country had made all necessary arrangements for repatriation and reiterated Myanmar’s readiness to accept refugees verified in line with bilateral agreements.
However, the statement did not specify a specific date for the return.
“Pilot projects are being carried out for the repatriation of refugees. Myanmar is willing to initiate the process with verified refugees who will be repatriated under the Pilot Project,” added the statement citing the deputy minister.
He also highlighted the importance of potential returnees to complete and sign an agreed form containing two points to ensure their voluntary return and obligation to comply with existing Myanmar laws.
Rohingya, whom the UN says are the most persecuted, have suffered a number of attacks since communal violence erupted in 2012.
Amnesty International said more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh, since Myanmar security forces launched attacks on minority Muslim communities in 2017. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)