Govt to end collation of Rohingyas info in Feb

Mohiuddin Alamgir | Published: 00:05, Feb 07,2018 | Updated: 23:53, Feb 06,2018

 
 
Swiss president Alain Berset

Swiss President Alain Berset meets Peter Guest, head of the United Nation’s World Food Programme in Cox’s Bazar, on his visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp for Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, on Tuesday. — AFP photo

The government intends to complete by February the collation of Rohingya biometric registration information with that of family count to use it in repatriation of the Myanmar citizens.
‘We would try to complete the collation of info by February,’ Cox’s Bazar refugee relief and repatriation commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam told New Age, adding that the work in no way would go beyond the second week of March.
The government in last week of January began the collation of two sets of information on Rohingyas.
The number of biometric registered Rohingyas entering Bangladesh to flee persecution in Myanmar so far surpasses 10.58 lakh while
the figure of family count till Sunday stands at 7.80 lakh, government officials have said.
An official of refugee relief and repatriation commissioner office in Cox’s Bazar said that work of collating information on Rohingyas was facing some problems as they were collecting village address of prospective returnee’s father, mother, wife or husband in line with verification forms agreed by Bangladesh and Myanmar.
‘Collating the two sets of information on Rohingyas is going on in full swing,’ Abul Kalam said.
‘We are also collecting village address of prospective returnee’s father, mother, wife or husband in line with the agreed verification forms,’ he said.
‘We would try to complete the collation by February and in no way beyond the second week of March,’ he said.
On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the deal for setting modalities of physical arrangement for partial repatriation within two years of transferring the first batch of over 7,73,000 Rohingyas who fled violence in Rakhine and crossed the border since October , 2016.
The Bangladesh government began biometric registration of the Rohingyas in September after their latest mass influx from Rakhine State started on August 25 for smooth distribution of relief and to know how many ethnic minorities entered.
The office of the refugee relief and repatriation commissioner on October 4 launched a family counting in Cox’s Bazar, with the support of the UNHCR to identify vulnerabilities and specific needs among the Rohingya population and to harmonise assistance.
A government handout quoting Bangladesh Passport and Immigration Department on Sunday said that till date 10,58,818 Myanmar citizens were registered biometrically.
The relief and repatriation office said that they so far counted 1.70 lakh families with a total of 7.70 lakh individuals.
Many Rohingyas living in different settlements, including host communities, are still out of the family counting, Abul Kalam said.
He said that biometric registration was taking place at individual-based information with picture and finger prints while family counting was family-based information with a family picture.
According to the UN estimation, 6,88,500 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh since August 25 when the new influx, what the United Nations called the world’s fastest-developing refugee emergency, began.
The new influx began after Myanmar security forces responded to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s reported attacks on August 25 by launching a violence that the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing.
Officials estimated that the new influx already took to 11.07 lakh the number of Myanmar people living in Bangladesh.
Rohingyas fled unrest in Rakhine state in 1978, 1991- 92 and October 2016 and almost all of them took shelter at Teknaf and Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar, which housed two official Rohingya camps with 34,000 Rohingyas and several others unregistered camps and countless makeshift shelters. 

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