Bangladesh agrees with Myanmar to complete Rohingya return in two years

Some of the refugees have been living in Bangladesh for many years but the repatriation agreement only covers those who have arrived since October 2016
Bangladesh, Myanmar plan Rohingya repatriation in 2 years
Author

20 January, 2018

It said they agreed that the process "would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation".

"The agreement stigmatizes the Rohingya people as would-be terrorists and includes unrealistic demands that these people, who fled for their lives with no possessions, show proof of residency to the very government that denied them of their citizenship, making it hard for them to believe that they will be protected upon returning home. Bangladesh and Myanmar recently discussed and finalised the text (of the agreement) to facilitate the return of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh", he said.

Myanmar officials plan to start the repatriation process next Tuesday. Our experiences on the ground tell us that it is unlikely that Rohingya refugees will leave camps in Bangladesh if they face uncertainty about whether they or their families will be subjected to violence, abuse, and rape back in Myanmar.

A spokesperson from the un high commission for refugees said Myanmar also needed to address the underlying causes of the crisis and that refugees should only return when they feel it is safe for them.

The victims were members of the Rakhine ethnic group, many of whom have forced about 700,000 Rohingya out of their villages and into Bangladesh.

"Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh", it said.

More news: Camila Cabello Says Fifth Harmony's 2017 VMA Performance Was 'Petty'

Tuesday's meeting at Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw was the first by a joint working group set up to hammer out the details of the November repatriation agreement.

The military denies ethnic cleansing, saying its security forces had mounted legitimate counter-insurgency clearance operations.

Myint Kyaing, permanent secretary at Myanmar's Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, told Reuters earlier this month Myanmar would be ready to begin processing least 150 people a day through each of the two camps by January 23.

According to a Wednesday evening bulletin by the state broadcaster Myanmar Radio, Aye Maung had told a crowd that Myanmar's Bamar majority regarded Rakhine people as slaves and did not grant them equal rights.

Myanmar, however, wanted Bangladesh to take preventive measures against possible Rohingya attacks and said it gave Dhaka a list with the names of 1,000 alleged militants.


More news