Govt to ask Myanmar for verifiable progress in Rakhine

Joint working group to meet today

Shahidul Islam Chowdhury | Published: 00:12, May 17,2018 | Updated: 00:21, May 17,2018

 
 

The Bangladesh government is likely to request Myanmar authorities today to show visible and verifiable activities on the ground in Rakhine State so that forcibly displaced Rohingyas have confidence to go back to Myanmar.
The request would be made at a meeting of the joint working group of the two neighbours in Dhaka, several Bangladesh delegation members said.
Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque and Myanmar foreign ministry permanent secretary Myint Thu would lead respective side in the foreign secretary-level group, which includes 15 officials from each country.
Bangladesh officials would want to know about settlement plan of the Myanmar government for Rohingyas, state of construction and reconstruction of houses and preparations for receiving the returnees.
Bangladesh authorities would also be interested in knowing the progress made on signing an agreement between the Myanmar government and the UNHCR in particular for facilitating repatriation of Rohingyas to their home, officials said.
The meeting would be held amid slow pace in Myanmar government’s preparations to take back Rohingyas from the first list handed over by Bangladesh three months ago.
The return of about 1,000 of the 8,032 Rohingyas, on the list handed over by Bangladesh authorities on February 16, was cleared by the Myanmar authorities in seven phases.
About 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing, beginning from August 25, 2017.
The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.
The two governments signed three instruments since November 23, 2017, for return of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals sheltered in Bangladesh after October 2016, as the Rohingya exodus from Rakhine State continued.
The government also signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNHCR to facilitate voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya people. 

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