Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque on Tuesday expressed hope that forcibly displaced Rohingyas would start to return to Rakhine State of Myanmar if the country could fulfil conditions for sustainable return.
Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali would visit Rakhine State to see firsthand the preparations of the Myanmar government to receive Rohingyas, Shahidul Haque said on the sidelines of a workshop on maritime counter-terrorism at a city hotel in Dhaka.
Mahmood Ali proposed, in a recent informal meeting of three ministers of Bangladesh, China and Myanmar, his visit to Rakhine State and the Myanmar minister agreed to host the visit, officials said.
No date for the visit of the foreign minister to Rakhine is finalised, officials said.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Bangladesh foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and Myanmar union minister of the State Counsellor’s Office Kyaw Tint Swe were present in the meeting on June 29 when both China and Myanmar stressed the need for sending the first batch of Rohingyas to Rakhine.
UNHCR and ICRC chiefs during their visit to Bangladesh in the past week stressed that the situation in Rakhine was not conducive to the return of Rohingyas.
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 and genocide, 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.
Bangladesh and Myanmar were engaged in a slow process of preparations with the UN agencies for starting repatriation of Rohingyas.
The two governments have signed three instruments since November 23, 2017, for the return of Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh after October 2016, as the Rohingya exodus from Rakhine continued.
Bangladesh and Myanmar governments signed two memorandums of understanding with UN agencies to ensure voluntariness of the returnees and facilitate safe and dignified return to Rakhine State.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country